Analysis of “Generals Die in Bed” Through the Eyes of Two Authors
The appalling low value set on the lives of common soldiers fighting World War I is chillingly dissected by a Canadian author, Charles Yale Harrison (1930), in his parody, “Generals Die In Beds.”. The not dissimilar views of two disparate but prominent book reviewers regarding the novel are set out utilizing a Mythic Question (Sam Keene and Anne Valley-Fox, 1973) to frame this Paper’s outline while analyzing a WWI painting “We Are Making A New World” (Paul Nash, 1918) against the lessons of the nonsensical war as highlighted in the parody. Having set the tone of this Paper, one work each of the prominent French philosopher, writer, and composer of the eighteenth-century Jean Jaques Rousseau and the renowned British naturalist of the nineteenth-century, Charles Robert Darwin, is also reviewed in the same light.
Keywords: parody, Paper’s outline, Mythic Question, analysis, poem, Jean Jaques Rousseau, Charles Robert Darwin.
Those who have seen the highly acclaimed award-winning TV Series made by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Blackadder (September-November 1989), starring comedians Rowan Atkinson, et al. will understand World War I in its true perspective. Rather than the Germans, who remain unseen, Blackadder's adversary comes in the form of his superior, General Melchett who rallies his troops from a French château 35 miles behind the front, wining and dining on Champagne, Caviar and Cigars while his troops, rotting in damp trenches and existing on one distasteful looking meal, die of lack of medical care, sepsis, diarrhea and dysentery, a dozen to the day. Blackadder's final line is poignant, just before leading his men into a suicidal final push at Flanders: “Well, I am afraid its time to go. Whatever your plans to avoid certain death were, I’m sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I...