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The Art of Loving War

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  1. Introduction
  2. The soldiers in Fable
    1. Men blinded by war
    2. The first soldier introduced in Fable
  3. William Faulkner's introduction of the character of a young fighter pilot
  4. The officers hungry for vengeance and pain
  5. The sentry: The soldier who beat the runner
  6. The stereotypical soldiers presented by William Faulkner

The image of a soldier is that of a stereotype. He barely passed high school or did not pass at all. He laughed at the idea of college, he laughed at the price. He works every weekday and drinks every weekend. Bosses and police officers have no reasons to give him a second chance. ?One more screw up and you're out,? his father threatens year in and year out, until the threats and his father blur into the background of a life he no longer wishes to live. Maybe one day while bagging groceries, or serving a hamburger at the local stand, he notices a man in a uniform. He notices how proud the man looks, how strong, how brave: he pictures how brave he would look in uniform. A few letters, a few phone calls, and he is enlisted. ?It was my one-way ticket out of Hell,? he says years later, to a wife who does not know him, to children who do not miss him. And he comes back ten years later from someone else's war with only one leg and the bravery he was never strong enough to forsake, to a Hell he was never meant to escape. He must have been desperate, for he chose the path of war. Because that is the military, right? The path to war?

[...] He hears word of a mutinied division on the French front, a group of thirteen men who have decided to not fight anymore. Thirteen men who have found in themselves the power to stop World War simply by putting down their guns and refusing to continue. The Germans across the battlefield are forced to do the same: with no one to shoot at and no one to shoot back, the entire ordeal seems rather purpose. In a sense, the division is successful. [...]

[...] And while there is a settled difference between those drafted and those serving willingly, as a case study of modern warfare from a volunteer service perspective, it is the fact that during World War not all men, even European, were forced onto the battlefield against their wills. They chose their fates, for whatever reasons: whether to serve their country, their homes, their race, or their own personal desperation, they chose war. Yet even in this novel, a novel experienced solely on the battlefield, a novel experiences solely alongside men who know that, once they win the war, they will have nothing left, and who honestly wish to never win the war, not every man is self-destructive; not every man seeks that which he can never benefit from. [...]

[...] But the mutiny on the front line grounds the planes, and no missions can be flown while the war is in a state of temporary armistice. He begs his commanding officers, he begs the other pilots; if he had the chance, he would probably beg the Germans too to start up the war again. He wants to fly over the enemy lines and shoot down the enemy planes, bomb the enemy gunners, set fire to the enemy world, all for the glory of medals and stories that he can write in his letters home. [...]

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