i chose to base my “Boys of Blood and Bone” presentation around the theme of death and grief. The concept of death is a strong point that the author David Metzenthen brings into the novel as it gives the audience the idea of not knowing what you have until it’s gone. Death is a very powerful and traumatic experience. It can change someone’s life just as easy as someone can get over it this shown between both the narratives.
Andrew Lansell fought for Australia in France in 1917 him as well as most of the soldiers just thought of killing other humans as nothing to worry about and considered it as their job. However many soldiers struggled to deal with the reality of war and watch the death of their fellow soldiers and friends. this could affect them mentally and physically once the war was over. The author uses a first person perspective of Andy here as he describes what he is feeling about while preparing for the war. ”That was why you joined up. It was no secret what the job was. You were given a rifle. It was up to you to use it.” Andy is thinking to himself here what Cecelia might see him as. He didn’t want to be known as some sort of killer but then again he had to come to the realization that what he did was no secret and that he was there to kill people whether he liked it or not.
In Henry’s narrative it is more modern times so the concept of death is completely different to what it was. When Henry hears that Trot dies in the car crash his first reaction is disbelief and has trouble processing what was actually happening and not accepting the fact that he had been killed. This is a good example at the funereal on how different people react differently to these situations. “Henry could hear people crying quietly, some helplessly, endlessly, it sounded. He didn’t feel like crying. He felt a kind of sad, frustrated anger that Trot wasn’t here anymore” This again explains how Henry was experiencing the whole ordeal and something like could potentially change how someone looks at life and the way they act to things.
When Henry reads the last diary entries by Andy he didn’t even know who he was yet Henry still feels angry over the fact that he had to die and is no longer. This his reaction as he read the last entry which was wrote by Andy’s friend Darcy. “It didn’t seem right that a young guy like Andy Lansell should be killed in a war twenty thousand kilometers away from home, but that’s what happened. And in the end, Henry knew, the war had been won and no war had ever been won without anyone dying”. This show how different his feeling and emotions were to when finding out Trot died, yet he still was upset over it.
So as we can see there are many different ways people can react to the loss of someone. There is denial of the situation; there is anger, depression and finally acceptance over the situation. Eventually Andy reached a point while fighting at war that in which he had no feelings or emotion over dead people since he was just so used to it. “He was no longer scared of the dead. The dead were dead. They were just dead. German or friendly, whoever, whatever they were just dead. So as you can see this is a terrible thing to think yet it’s the mindset that he got after being at war for that long and that Death can get over easily as life always keeps on going on.
As you can see death can be a very touchy and powerful subject and no matter what people will die and you will just have to grief and move on about it. A boy of blood and Bone does a good job in showing all the different emotions and stages of death and the real meaning of it.
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