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

Critical Essay on Empire of the Sun

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critical Essay on Empire of the Sun 'The Guardian' claims Empire of the Sun to be "the best British novel about WWII". In your critical opinion, what makes Ballard's book special? Ballard's book is special because it gives the reader a unique perspective on wartime life in China during WWII and the cruelty suffered by prisoners, Chinese citizens, and even the Japanese soldiers at that time. Each in their own way became a victim of war, even though some suffered more than others. The prisoners, such as Jim, suffered a great deal of agony because of starvation and abuse, while the Chinese citizens became the targeted victims of war when their nation came under Japanese invasion. Interesting, we learn from the book that the Japanese soldiers were also victims because in many ways they were slaves for their own country, slaves who were forbidden to form friendships with prisoners such as Jim. As readers, we are able to experience this firsthand through Jim's unique bond with the young Japanese soldier near the end of the book. ...read more.

Middle

We also come to learn that the war has driven Jim mad, for he "hoped his parents were safe and dead." Jim's madness is evident in this line, and Ballard wanted to emphasize the fact that war has changed everyone, and made them cold. People like Jim were numb to their own emotions as the war ended, and supposedly finally finding his parents after four difficult years was meant to be a tear shedding event. Instead Ballard didn't even mention the moment Jim was reunited with his parents, symbolizing it was no longer that great of a deal for Jim. The time line simply leapt to his life back at Amherst Avenue, as if nothing had ever happened, but he will never return to his prewar innocence. His home after the war "seemed as much as an illusion as the sets of the Shanghai film studios." Other than wishing his parents were safe and dead, somewhere near the end of the war in the book Ballard also wrote that Jim wished himself dead as well, and was rather disappointed to find himself alive, even though he had considered himself as half dead. ...read more.

Conclusion

I also felt touched by the way Ballard used other symbols to remind us of the desperation of wartime life, such as the flies which I see as symbolizing the inescapable existence of war. In the beginning, Jim tried to brush away the flies, signifying his fighting back against the war. Eventually he gives up on keeping the flies away because there were too many, and he was helpless against them, which also implies him surrendering to the war. Overall, Ballard's novel is most special to me because unlike other war stories, the main character in "Empire of the Sun" is a fourteen year-old boy. Not many young adults can have such extraordinary confrontations and witness so much violence and suffering, let alone a child. He has probably aged a lot mentally throughout his years at the camp, learning to distrust and realize the dark inhuman nature within some adults, yet he learns that the best survival tactic is his own innocence and role as a child. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous 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 GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Stone Cold Critical Esaay

    3 star(s)

    Link says this in a matter of fact way- "You won't find it comfy. You won't sleep" - because there is no alternative. He thinks there is no way that you can sleep on a street and be comfortable. He also says "dead drunk or zonked on downers" as if

  2. Mayor of CasterBridge Essay

    Nevertheless, Henchard is shown by Hardy to be very remorseful as he vows to not drink alcohol for 21 years after the sale of Susan. " I Michael Henchard- do take an oath before God here in this solemn place that I will avoid all strong liquors for the space

  1. Montag Analsys Essay

    He was very analytical. Montag was married to Mildred, an insipid woman who spent her days in front of three television sets. She lulled herself sleep at night with music and sleeping pills. After Clarisse questioned Montag he started to think about his wife, Mildred, and whether they really loved each other or not.

  2. Lord of the Flies

    He rebels against the rules that Ralph makes and is often found on the opposing side. "I'm not going to play any longer. Not with you. I'm not going to be part of Ralph's lot's" From this, we are able to see the selfish attitude of Jack because he is

  1. Victory At A Price

    He went one way and then the other. Paddy gave him a few slaps down the neck. One hundred metres left, one furlong until the end.

  2. Shrek essay

    Shrek is looks at lord farquad this shows that lord farquad is more powerful. He then threatens the villagers "decapitate the entire village and cut open their spleens". At first shrek doesn't want to fight with anyone, he decided to solve the dispute with a pint.

  1. Thomas Hardy Essay

    him, but after an accident which left her in a wheeled chair the reverend ask her to marry him. Sophy's life would have been much happier if she had married Sam instead and she would not have been caught between society's boundaries.

  2. Empire of the Sun

    and after the bombs had gone he still thought that he would go to school. This shows a lack of maturity and common sense.

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