As long as mankind has existed there have been warfare. Nations or groups fight each other over religion, believes and interests, and billions of soldiers has let their life fighting for their country and culture values and believes. Governments tells that war is a fight for freedom and young men want to serve their father land, but do they actually know consequences that war bring?
The article “Generation Kill” is written by Ewan Wright in 2004 and the author follows a platoon of US Marines in their advance through the Iraq war. Through the text there is given a characterization of the soldiers and how they respond to unaccustomed episodes that war brings.
By writing the Marines own expression “Get some!” several times throughout a single passage, Wright makes use of a catchphrase, which is used to emphasize how the soldiers are like these madmen who aren’t afraid of war and actually are thrilled to go to combat. By using allusion Wright takes some kind of distance to these unknowing Marine soldiers who do not care about politic and culture. The use of allusion and distance taking is for an example shown when he talks on the case about former president, of the USA, Bill Clintons unfaithfulness with his secretary, which was a major scandal to his office, but to the soldiers it’s just some gossip story. “This is, after all the generation that first learned of the significance of the presidency not through an inspiring speech at the Berlin Wall but through a national obsession with semen stains and a White House blowjob” This strengthens Ewan Wright’s integrity as an author.
By using In medias res in his article, Wright induces to get the readers attention from the start and maintain throughout the text.
The articles composition is very interesting. In the beginning of the text Wright writes generally speaking and reporting on the situation in which he finds him in. He describes the location; how the settings look like and which circumstances they’re under when they got ambushed. But as you read further into to article, Wright focuses more on the soldiers and he begin to describe their language and how they act. As a reader you get a broad picture of the many different personalities of the soldiers and what kind of human beings they are. At the end he looks even closer at the marines and through the situations he manages to notice their thoughts and feelings. The reader will get an increasingly detailed image of how the soldiers emotionally respond to the happenings throughout the war due to this composition.
Wright describes the Marines as tough human beings and he draw lines back to the cave-man when he tells about the Marine soldiers motto “Get some!”. He displays them as testosterone filled meatheads who are searching for an adrenalin kick. They are ready to kill and are having an urge to experience combat. “Nearly every Marine I’ve met is hoping this war with Iraq will be his chance to get some.” Wright writes about the soldiers as persons that are very little culturally informed because of the parent(s) non-present upbringing. “For some, slain rapper Tupac is an American patriot whose writings are better known than the speeches of Abraham Lincoln” “Many are on more intimate terms with video games, Reality TV shows and internet porn than they are with their own parents.”
He is saying that he states that the Marine soldiers are social disturbed kids with a very varied but somehow dysfunctional background. These people who are defending the values of their country are actually people who are having problems socializing with other people as close to them as their parents. But somehow he also shows that these are the born war-machines because of the lack of emotions.
It is clear to see how Ewan Wrights opinion on sending these young men to war, comes out through his article. The mental development of the Marine Soldiers shows how Wright focuses on the damage the war is causing to these unknowing soldiers who doesn’t know any better. They are a product of their environment and even though it outwardly seems they are prepared for combat the reality of warfare knocks them out before they’re ready to dodge the emotional hit. I think the end phrase is a clear symbol of Wrights message through this text and his own point of view on this war.
“What’s the first thing you think when you shoot a civilian?The recoil of your rifle.” The rifles movement shows ironically the feeling and emotion of the soldiers before they go to combat and after. At first the main thought is killing when the trigger is pulled, but then comes the recoil of the rifle which symbolizes the emotions and damages coming right back to the shooter/soldier after his action.
Ewan Wrights article is about how the young Marine soldiers personality change through the war in Iraq because of the harsh realities the soldiers are facing in the war. By using varied linguistic means through the article, Wright manages to raise himself above the reader, catching the readers’ attention and describing the soldiers going to combat. Ewan Wrights own opinion and point of view on the topic is coming to an expression through the action of the soldiers and comments on the Marines personality.