• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Strange Meeting" by Susan Hill. Explore and evaluate the ways in which the war affects and changes the friendship between John Hilliard and David Barton.

Extracts from this document...


Explore and evaluate the ways in which the war affects and changes the friendship between John Hilliard and David Barton. Strange Meeting is a novel written by Susan Hill, which was published in 1971. It is set in the First World War. The title of the book is taken from the First World War poet Wilfred Owen. It is a moving story focusing on youth and experience, hope and despair and friendship and love. It concentrates of the representation of relationship between the men in the trenches. This essay will explore and evaluate how the war affects and changes Barton and Hilliard's relationship throughout the destructive and horrifying war. Strange Meeting presents us with typical world war images therefore we have a credible depiction of war. The novel has been written in a narrative and traditional style. The tradition has been mixed with the narrative to understand the characters. It has also been written in an epistolary style due to the integrated letters exchanged. Hilliard appreciates Barton's family's kindness to him, which contributes to his path to development; he appreciates Barton spiritually and physically. In the summer of 1916, John Hilliard returned home on leave after a wounded leg at the Battle of Somme. Hilliard encountered nightmares that consisted of the sights of innocent men dying right in front of his eyes, the horrors of war and how people were unaware what it was like to live in such awful conditions, fearing death. ...read more.


Harris shuts himself into a cellar refusing to come out, as he is so frightened of the war. Hilliard was in charge of the platoon therefore felt it was his duty to deal with the problem. He said to Barton "You'd better stay here' as he wanted to take charge. Hilliard then says to Barton ' I though you might know what to say to him better than I do". Here we can see Hilliard character developing but we still can see the uncertainty as how to approach Harris. Barton managed to get half way up the stairs all of a sudden a shell lands on the building throwing Harris backwards and killing him. This where we see Barton deteriorate, he feels responsible of what happened. Hilliard tried comforting him "If we'd just left him he would of stayed there till tomorrow morning, and we would have to fetch Captain Franklin who would of ordered him out" Barton replied " he'd have been alive Hilliard, he would have been alive". John then stated" When the shell came Id heard you on the stairs just before it... I thought you were dead! We can now fully understand that the war has definitely affected a strong relationship between Hilliard and Barton's as Hilliard in the pass hasn't been able to open up but with Barton he can. ...read more.


Hilliard woke up was in hospital. Lots of letters had been received but one had been on the table for ten days, but he knew he had to open it. It was a letter from David Barton's mother stating that David had been reported missing. The letter also stated that they wish to invite him to their home to visit them when he gets better. Hilliard replies only but telling the truth that he does not know what happened to Barton, but it is highly likely that he has been killed, and also that he will visit when he feels better. Overall we can see that the relationship between John Hilliard and David Barton has grown significantly throughout the novel. Hilliard being an experienced solider has guided Barton through his journey to the war. Barton is inexperienced and doesn't really know the things he will see will haunt him for the rest of his life. Hilliard feels protective over Barton that it is his duty to look after him. This friendship grows into something more serious. The affects of the war defiantly has changed the characters friendship as they went through stages of not talking as Barton was so shocked to what he was seeing, but they both managed to pull through. The war has definitely tested their relationship but it also has caused their relationship to blossom. They played major parts in each other's lives; they could not live without each other but David Barton will always remain in John Hilliard's heart forever. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Authors essays

  1. How does Graham Greene explore gender representation in Brighton Rock?

    Perhaps Greene is commenting on masculine desire of a matriarchal society where individuals seek leadership over those beneath them in order to gain the status and recognition of their power. Pinkies relationship with Colleoni is also significant. It is representative of the era of social mobility and the male need for materialistic belongings.

  2. The Sound and the Fury. Faulkners application of certain diction for Benjy, Quentin ...

    Thereafter, Benjy recalled Quentin taking him to the barn and he remembered seeing weird cows jumping out of the barn and cows running down the hill. Versh carrying Benjy to the top of the hill after his drunken stage at Caddy's wedding, reminded Benjy of Versh carrying him up the

  1. "Murmuring Judges" by David Hare

    What every one needs is a lump of money. And the waves will be up to my chest." The Police are shown to be very over worked and under paid, being pressured into achieving the targets set for them and looking good to the public. JIMMY: "Some pen -pusher comes down from upstairs and, says, look, the local press

  2. Explore the ways in which Sebastian Faulks presents human endurance in the face of ...

    One particularly vivid description tells of a man who is still marching towards enemy lines despite losing a large proportion of his face, "There was a man beside him missing part of his face, but walking in the same dreamlike state"; the way that Faulks describes the man as walking

  1. The Theme of Friendship in "The Kite Runner".

    Amir hears this and starts to cry. Later on, Rahim Khan explains to Amir Hassan is Baba?s son, making Amir his half-brother. After thinking about this, Amir comes back to the house and finds out that Sohrab is in Kabul and that he needs Amir to get him so that an adopting family can pick him up.

  2. Notes on "All Quiet on the Western Front"

    When Kantorek asks Paul to give a word to the class about how they should go and fight for the ?Fatherland?, Paul simply answers that he ?can?t say anything?. In the 1930 classic film (a faithful adaptation of the book), the most poignant and upsetting moment is when Paul makes

  1. In her essay "Flight," Doris Lessing illustrates the story of an old man who ...

    And more, we do not know if those are tears of joy or sadness or some other feelings. The story ended with ambiguous conclusion through the tears on Alice?s face.

  2. How is John Hilliard's character developed, in the novel "Strange Meeting" by Susan Hill?

    The strip beds and the emptiness dressing table reflect the emptiness of sentiment in Hawton. Then Hilliard goes as far as stating that he is a stranger in his own home. His statement completely removes him from any attachment to Hawton.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work