The Valpo Core Reader

Document Type

Freshman Seminar Essay

Publication Date



In many of the war novels I have read, there is a reoccurring theme of lost innocence. Whether it be Henry Flemming in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage or Billy Pilgrim in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five, one cannot help but notice how the tragedies of war can affect a human being, physically and psychologically. War has the power to speed up the aging of a boy into a man. Two photographs I find especially poignant are of soldiers that are obviously at different times in their lives. One photograph is of a very young sailor, and the other is of an aged general--two photographs that are so different, but ironically share very much in common. Each photograph tells its own story, but I believe that the stories of the young sailor and the old general are connected in some way.