The Fighting Ground

by Avi

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In The Fighting Ground, how does Jonathan feel after conversing with his father's friends?

Quick answer:

In The Fighting Ground, Jonathan feels ready to fight the enemy after hearing conversations between his father and his father's friends. All their talk of the tyrannical British and their treacherous American allies make Jonathan keen to grab a gun and start fighting for the Patriot cause.

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Initially, Jonathan is too young and naive to understand what war entails. Far from seeing war as a terrible thing that always leads to death and suffering, he looks upon it through rose-tinted spectacles, as an opportunity for young men such as himself to achieve glory on the field of battle.

Although Jonathan's father keeps putting him off joining the Patriot army, the conversations between him and his friends only serve to make Jonathan keener than ever to sign up. Jonathan's old man and his friends regularly talk about the “tyrannical” British and their “cruel mercenary allies,” German-speaking Hessians. They also have choice words for the hated Tories and those Americans whom they regard as traitors for standing by King George III.

It's not altogether surprising that, on listening to these conversations, Jonathan should dream of going off to fight the enemy. But for now, it just isn't possible. Jonathan's father has an injured leg; he sustained his injury while fighting near Philadelphia the previous winter. As a result, it's painful for him to walk, and so Jonathan is needed at home.

Yet Jonathan's enthusiasm for the war remains undiminished, despite what happened to his father. He still yearns for the day when he, too, will be able to take up his gun and fight the enemy.

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