In the book Johnny Got His Gun, why does Joe like America?  

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Through flashbacks and soliloquies, Joe Bonham reflects on his life before, during, and after his involvement in World War I. In these flashbacks, we learn that Joe was an average boy living a pretty average life before he decided to join the military. He has memories of fishing with his best friend, when he first made love to his then-girlfriend, and even some tender moments of his mother's home-cooking.
These moments, alongside others, help us understand Joe as a patriotic young man who wants to join the military in order to serve his country. Here is where we first recognize his love for America.

Book 2 of the novel sees Joe recalling his experience in the war and how he is hit by an exploding shell, which causes him to lose his limbs. Here is when we begin to see his love for America wane.

However, it is much later in the novel where we finally see his love for America dissipate completely and become replaced with rage. When Joe is finally able to communicate with the nurses caring for him, he requests that he display his body for others to see so that they can see the ramifications of war and the pain that it causes; he wants his reality to serve as the reality of war versus the myths often propagated. Unfortunately, his request is denied and he is left to his silent anger as faceless military officials pin a military medal to him.

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While it's fair to say that the character of Joe Bonham loves America at the beginning of the novel, it is important to note that his views have changed significantly by the end of the novel. In fact, this change is the focus of the main plot of the book. He doesn't hate America at the end of the book, but his beliefs regarding his country have changed irrevocably.

After Joe gets horribly injured in World War I, he questions whether a country that sends many young people to such a horrible conflict is worth his love and devotion. After his request to use his maimed body to show others the horror of war is denied by the military, he loses his faith in America completely. 

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I would agree that in the novel Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo, Joe Bonham did love his country and paid a terrific price.  As the reader follows his stream of consciousness thoughts as he discovers where he is and the terrible extent of his injuries, he goes through his life and remember things which were important.  His goal now is to communicate in some way with the people who take care of him in the hospital.  He begins to use Morse Code by tapping his head, but no one seems to understand what he is trying to do. 

When a new nurse appears and writes Merry Christmas on his body, he starts tapping his head in code.  She Does understand his message, and he begins to communicate with the hospital and military world.  His desire is to go out and show the world what war can do so that his country can learn to give up war and not allow its soldiers to be so injured.  He is denied this as it is against policy.  He is again isolated in the hospital with no one to listen to him. 

This book is so relevant today as we have so many veterans who are coming home with grievous injuries who would have died on the field in previous wars, and yet still love their country.  Wounded Warriors Project works to help these veterans, and all express their love of country. 

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