War Song Analysis

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War is a harrowing experience, that can cause many changes in the soldiers that experience it. The texts The War Drags On by Donovan, Hero of War by Rise Against, Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch and Saving Private Ryan by Steven Spielberg all share the theme “the reality of war changes people”. This is illustrated by the lyrics, quotes and visuals featured in these texts. In Wrong Side of Heaven, we see how war affects soldiers after they return home from war. The focus of this song is on vagrant veterans. Throughout the song, we see how soldiers feel that they're not heroes, and how they struggle through everyday life. One of the first verses of the song is “What have I done, what have I become”, illustrating the change…show more content…
The main focus of this song is on how a soldier changes before, during and after military service. The song starts with an excited, happy tone. We see through the first stanza that the soldier is expecting an easy time in the military. This is most clearly seen in the lyrics “I said that sounds pretty good”. We also get to see how he is convinced to enlist. The conversation the soldier has, which we can assume is with a recruiting officer, gives off the tone that being in the military will be easy. Lyrics such as “just carry this gun, you’ll even get paid” show how war is being portrayed as a simple job by the recruiter. After the first chorus, we see the text begin to take a darker tone. The lyrics “The children they cried, but I got my man” and “I told them to stop, then I joined in” show us the change that is occurring within the soldier. The best example of this change in the song is shown in the chorus. For the majority of the song, the chorus has the lyrics “A hero of war, yeah that's what I'll be”, showing the belief that soldiers are heroes. But the last time the chorus plays, we hear the lyrics “A hero of war, is that what they see”. We can clearly see that this soldier’s view of themselves has…show more content…
When the Allies defeat the Germans, Upham stands up and aims at him. Steamboat Willie raises his hands and smiles, expecting Upham to accept his surrender. But instead, Upham shoots him while letting the other German’s escape. This final interaction shows clearly how Upham has changed since the beginning of the film. He goes from being a pacifist who avoids conflict, to confronting soldiers and eventually killing. Steven Spielberg wants us to understand that war can affect how a person views the world and can affect them permanently. Having Upham transform from a pacifist to killing Steamboat Willie is Spielberg’s way of showing how great the change in someone can be when witnessing war firsthand. This is a theme that is also seen in the text The War Drags On. The War Drags On once again shows us how war can change a person’s outlook on the world. This song is told from the perspective of Dan, a soldier in Vietnam. Like Hero of War, Dan starts off with the view of being a hero. This is expressed in the first stanza, with lyrics such as “went out to fight for peace, liberty and all” emphasising the morals Dan is fighting for. Directly after this in the next stanza, we see the lyrics “millions with faces, without hope and without homes”, directly contradicting one of Dan’s beliefs for

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