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Private Peaceful

  • Date Submitted: 01/21/2012 04:53 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.7 
  • Words: 342
  • Essay Grade: no grades
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‘Little Les is lying on his side shot through the head, his eyes staring at me.’ ’ Private peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is a story about fear, death, human interaction and the horrors of World War One; the smells, the pain, the death, the dirt, the rats and the loss of innocence and young lives. We learn about Tommo's loves, his childhood and his desire to remember everything because his memories are the only "sane" thing he can cling on to.
As the novel progresses Michael Morpurgo continues to strongly portray the sense and visual aspects of fear in war through his use of vocabulary and language.   ‘They come on towards us unscathed, an army of invincible grey ghosts.   Only when they begin to crumple and cry out and fall do I begin to believe they are mortal.’
Michael Morpurgo uses metaphors as an effective way to describe Tommos point of view of hate in war.   ‘I am a hunter seeking out my quarry, a quarry I will kill, but my quarry has gone.’
Michael Morpurgo’s vocabulary illustrates Tommo's weary of what’s to come in war.   He uses a lot of morbid language. ‘A line of soldiers passes us coming the other way, dark-eyed men, sullen and weary… the haunted, hunted look in their eyes tell us all.’
At the end of the chapter, ‘Nearly four o’clock,’ there is a terrified tone as Tommo believes he is going to die. His reaction to this is unexpected, however it is the horror of war that has made him feel this way. ‘Curled into a ball on the ground and screaming for it to stop. Then I feel Charlie lying beside me, folding himself around me to protect me… I am dying and I welcome it.’  
Near the end of chapter ‘Five to five’ Tommo uses an angry yet sad tone in what he says.   Lastly, the biggest horror of war is loss. ‘You’re not worthless, Charlie… You’re the best friend I’ve ever had.’

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