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War and Music

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Sana Merchant January 24, 2005 E103 War and Music The movie Paths of Glory, directed by Stanley Kubrick, dealt with the harsh conditions in the trenches during WWI. In the movie several fighters were persecuted for pulling back during an impossible attack. The movie tactfully questioned the authority of superior officers. The way the hierarchy in the army is depicted in the film made me question the integrity of the unit. I was perplexed by the concept that one person could have so much power over another. The movie diplomatically handled the plot by showing different aspects of an officer's life. One of the aspects of the movie which brought to life the emotional trauma of the war was the use of music and instruments. ...read more.


The profound mood that the drums left encompassed these emotions. The vibrant sound set a somewhat different tone. It made me feel as though the firing and fighting was taking place in front of me. The short up and down-like vibration set the tone for the unexpected nature of war and the changing fate of soldiers. The end of the movie was similarly interesting because of the incorporation of music. The German girl sings while three men are set to be executed. The girl is forced to sing over the opposition of hooting and yelling. Hooting and yelling can describe the way the commanders deal with their soldiers. ...read more.


It added suspense and drama to the plot. Further, it heightened the meaning of events through sounds. I think one of the main reasons the use of instruments was incorporated into the film was because music was a huge part of war: in a time of war it is hard to express ones feelings through words. For example, the man who was shell shock could not express himself. But, contrary to words, music encompasses feeling of beat and motion; it strikes one in a way in which words cannot and is able to transcend to all different types of people, even those with disabilities due to the war. It has the ability to soothe, comfort and alert. Because music was such an important aspect of a soldier's life, I believe that the movie incorporated music to pass on the feelings of soldiers to the viewer. ...read more.

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