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Effects Of War In History & The Body In Pain

1052 words - 5 pages

In Elaine Scarry's The Body In Pain, and Elsa Morante's History, the lasting effects of war are suggested in two different, but similar ways. There are two main similarities involving the effects of war in these excerpts. One being the idea that war changes people in one form or another. The other being the idea of the effects of war reaching far and beyond the time the war took place. The main difference between the two pieces exists in the context the author utilizes these ideas. Morante chooses to use the psychological effects of war, while Scarry uses the physical effects. However, beyond their differences in context, the two authors succeed in insinuating one main point: the fact that ...view middle of the document...

For example; points out that Berlin's "bright, modern, architecturally "new" (Scarry 113) look is due to the fact that it had to be rebuilt from the damages of WWII. She also makes note of some city blocks in Berlin, some of them looking new or modern, and some of them still seem reminiscent of 1945. Between the comparison of actual physical damage done to humans, and to places and cities, Scarry has suggested that city blocks, although damaged in war, are far easier to repair than it is for the human soul itself.In the excerpt from Morante's History, the damage done to a human, and her soul itself are used to display the lasting effects of war. Ida is a mother who has lost her son Nino in an altercation where he was involved in the transporting of stolen goods, such as guns. As an inspector points out, Nino may have been part of a post-war "pseuodo revolution", where unfortunately for Nino, the rules of war do not apply, he was breaking the law. After her son's death Ida is extremely troubled. At first she tries to deal with his death by holding in her cries and sorrow. However, this produces something inside of her she cannot escape. She is constantly plagued by the thoughts of his death, and various hallucinations of Nino, none which are pleasing, but rather terrifying. By using Ida, Morante creates a fictional story that can most likely be applied to many grief stricken parents who have lost their children in a war, or revolution. Morante also makes it clear that from Nino's death, a war has been created inside Ida herself. She now is constantly torn between feelings of guilt for his death, and when "the defendant Ida turns prosecutor" (Morante399) begins to blame Nino for his death. Towards the end of the excerpt Ida is no longer terrorized, by visions of Nino, but rather Nino has now become helpless and forever plagued by...

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