Is it all just a joke?

I know that we finished reading Lawrence a while ago but I am writing an essay on her book and am still super annoyed that she did not talk about her experience at the war. Her whole purpose was to get to the front so she could write a realistic portrayal of war. Yet the entire time she describes everything but the war. In fact, throughout the book she makes many humorous comments to the point in which I am now doubting her credibility. She makes everything seem so light-hearted and great. Even when she does tell us about some of the hardships she experienced, they’re very vague and short; she leaves so much out. I just can’t understand why someone would go through all of that trouble to get to the front, stay there for 10 days, and then not even talk about it. Someone in my class said that she thinks she is an attention-seeker who wants to boast. I can definitely see that after finishing the book. She makes herself look good and war look even better. It really bothers me that I will never know what happened those ten days.

215 thoughts on “Is it all just a joke?

  1. I get how people can be angry and upset with the omission of the ten days that she is at the front, but I also think that maybe this is due to her being told she is not allowed to talk about what she went through. Maybe she was still scared of what could happen due to what she was told about not being able to report this like she wanted to. I think there is still regulation on what she is able to say and what she cannot. I don’t want to say she was seeking attention because I don’t like doing that for anyone or anything regardless of the situation. We were not there, so we don’t know what happened. Maybe she was doing it for attention, but we cannot decide that. I also think that discredits anything Lawrence has to say and I personally do not what to do that. She has her story and what she experienced and has the option to share it fully, in pieces, or not at all. I want to believe Lawrence regardless of her including or excluding those ten days.

    • I would agree with that. And we also glimpse her starting to unravel, to shake and faint, in the trenches so maybe it was just too traumatic to write. Writing means you have to relive the trauma, over and over (especially with the writing process and then revision and publication). She still gives us important experiences that we wouldn’t have either way.

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