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Assess the statement that Greene is making about the consequences of war. 

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maddipeace04 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 22, 2012 at 6:01 PM via web

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Assess the statement that Greene is making about the consequences of war. 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:52 PM (Answer #1)

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I had to edit down the original question.  One of the most compelling statements that Greene is making is that the modern condition of war leaves an indelibly brutal imprint on the young who survive.  The gang's meeting place is an area hollowed out by the bombing of the war.  The implications of this are profound. The gang's communal identity is linked to the violence of war.  It becomes evident that one of the consequences of the war is the violence with which the children appropriate the world around them.  They live in a condition in which there is only destruction.  The bonds of creation and nurturing have been severed.  In its place are the jagged remnants of war's destruction.  It is in this light that the boys so readily accept T.'s proposition of destroying the house.  T.'s concept of a plan is meticulous, with instruction, and a sense of the deliberate intrinsic to it.  This reflects how the children have become desensitized to the emotional consequences of their action.  Violence, destruction, and an emotional alienation are realities of their lives through war, elements that they have appropriated in the way they interact with their world.  Greene might be suggesting that such elements are not merely found in the children of this time period.  The truck driver's reaction to the falling of Mr. Thomas' house represents how emotional estrangement to both the world and to fellow human beings have become a part of the landscape of a world where war exists.  The laughter and the "nothing personal" element that the truck driver exhibits is little different than what the boys display.  It is in this where Greene's statement about the deadening of emotional reality becomes a distinct consequence of war is understood.

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