Empire of the Sun

by J. G. Ballard
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Examine the way in which Ballard presents Jim's experience of war through his relationships with key individuals.

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Ballard's depiction of Jim's interactions with others during the war clearly suggests that some level of social solidarity can form even the harshest of realities that war is.  Despite the alienating conditions that are around Jim, there is a clear depiction of bonds and forged connections with individuals during war. This helps to solidify the idea that despite the infernal conditions of war, human connection is still possible.  Jim's relationship with Basie is one such example.  Despite how Basie sees the pragmatic ends of war and how Jim has witnessed some of the worst in war, human connection exists between both.  Another example of this would be how Jim views Dr. Ransome and Mr. Maxted.  In these settings, Ballard depicts Jim as one who still seeks human connection with others despite the alienating condition that often comes with war.  

Jim's experience of war is tempered through his relationships with individuals like these.  Perhaps, it is because of these relationships that Jim is not able to fully condemn all of humanity as a result of his experience in war. The ability to form some type of connection with another is where Ballard suggests that the horrors of war are not entirely all encompassing.  Jim's ability to form relationships with individuals despite the worst of conditions might be a reflection of this idea.

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