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please can you tell me the meaning of novel 'war horse' by m. morpurgo.  my...

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stclares | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:38 PM via web

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please can you tell me the meaning of novel 'war horse' by m. morpurgo.  my student is going to be asked questions on the literary meaning of the book?

my section of the book i am reciting is taken from two paragraphs - 'if it is possible to be happy in the middle of a nightmare' and ending '& kissed me'.. and following on to the second paragraph starting - 'Thank you, my friend', and ending on 'in the midst of all this misery'....Apologies Im not too sure where these two paragraphs are in the novel.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 20, 2012 at 12:40 AM (Answer #1)

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In a sense, the central meaning of this text, or its theme, relates to the war and the tremendous loss of life and suffering that was endured by both man and beast as a result of the Great War, or World War I. One way in which this novel is unique is that it presents what is going on around in the war from the horse's perspective as Joey is taken to fight in France and actually serves on both sides of the conflict before ending up wandering around in No Man's Land.

Such an account presents a somewhat radical way of looking at the war and alsocounting the cost in its widest sense rather than just merely describing the impact on humans. Morpurgo explores the intense bond that not only was formed between soldiers, but also the relationship that existed between soldiers and their horses that formed such an important part of the war effort. The horrendous suffering of humans and animals is focused on and described to us in the novel, enlarging our understanding and empathy of what a tragic event the Great War was.

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