Something that I noticed has been a major theme in many (if not all the books) has been the worth behind the war, or rather, the lack thereof. I think we saw this especially on page 24 of the Borden text. On that page the General is speaking all about how these men will die before they ever so much as get the chance to return home. Much like how all sides knew before Nov. 11, 1918, that the war would end, it seems as though the deaths of these men is worthless. That any aspect of this war up until this point in the texts we’ve read and so on has been worthless, and it was this worthlessness that reminded me of the Tennyson poem The Charge of the Light Brigade. I’ll include the first part of the poem below:
IHalf a league, half a league,Half a league onward,All in the valley of DeathRode the six hundred.“Forward, the Light Brigade!Charge for the guns!” he said.Into the valley of DeathRode the six hundred.II“Forward, the Light Brigade!”Was there a man dismayed?Not though the soldier knewSomeone had blundered.Theirs not to make reply,Theirs not to reason why,Theirs but to do and die.Into the valley of DeathRode the six hundred.IIICannon to right of them,Cannon to left of them,Cannon in front of themVolleyed and thundered;Stormed at with shot and shell,Boldly they rode and well,Into the jaws of Death,Into the mouth of hellRode the six hundred.
I’m not sure exactly which rabbit hole I fell into to find these, but I found some really interesting late 1920s to early 1930s cartoons depicting life during The Great War.
This first one is an Oswald the Rabbit cartoon directed by Walt Disney entitled “Great Guns.” It features a lot of the new technology being developed including tanks and machine guns although it also shows some of the more “primitive” weapons people were forced to use in the war.
I think this cartoon is super interesting because(as we touched on a little bit in class) World War I marked really the beginning of a move from personal combat (and to hand combat and people actively killing each other face to face like Paul did to Duval) to removed combat (much like the contemporary style we use today where often times people never really come face to face/ warfare becoming more mechanized).
This second cartoon, also an Oswald the Rabbit piece, is called “Not So Quiet” (already interesting since All Quiet on the Western Front was published the year before this was released). “Not So Quiet” more prominently features aspects of trench warfare (even going into aspects as detailed as the amount of water and liquids that would accumulate inside the trenches). Another neat addition to this cartoon is the depiction of armistice at the end. We spoken lightly in class about how so many people knew the war would come to an end and so countless lives were lost wastefully. This cartoon shows that with Oswald being chased by a bomb until the armistice and then just having the chase end.
The final cartoon is an early example of Looney Tunes and is called “Bosko the Doughboy.” It clearly shows what life in the trenches was like down to the louse on the sergeant. This one also shows the water in the trenches and the boards placed on the ground to make walking in them easier.
I think all of the cartoons are super neat, not only because of the way they depict World War One, but because of how it seems like the world was coping with what had happened after the fact.
So, like the title of this post says, this is not directly related to WW1 or “All Quiet” or anything else we have talked about in class. This is just a super weird coincidence that I have to share with you all.
For those of you who do not know me, I am completely obsessed with my dog, Finley. He is adorable and I adopted him back in April. I was looking through his paperwork and noticed his birthday, and by noticed I mean it was glaring at me! November 11th, 2008.
Why was this date popping out at me? Why did I recognize it? The Armistice! November 11th, 1918.
So from now on, my sweet little Finley has a new nickname: My Armistice Baby.
Enjoy some pictures of my handsome man:
Isn’t it strange things happen all the time and such small work events happen on the anniversary of big world events? I’m the type of person who is crazy obsessed with dates (fun fact, me and Leonardo Da Vinci were both born on April 15th) and will sit and research dates for hours and find strange connections between years and decades. Do you have any fun dates in your life that are connected to big world/historical events?