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

War and Love in Ninh's The Sorrow of War

Extracts from this document...


Novelists often structure a novel around a series of carefully selected incidents. Explain the importance of two such incidents to the theme or themes of the novel. In Bao Ninh's The Sorrow of War, Ninh helps the reader to understand war as being all-conquering and consuming by comparing it to love, using a series of examples and incidents within the novel. In addition to this, after making the comparison to love, Ninh demonstrates war's capacity to taint love and in this way indicates its lasting and sorrowful effect. By comparing and referring to the two consistently within the text, Ninh is able to show their importance and the ways in which they affect one another as one of the major themes of the novel. Ninh's perception of love within the text flits between the naively sincere and the despairingly hopeful: love before and after the war are almost two different things. Love before the war is pure and fresh. ...read more.


This first portrayal of love is at once excited and desperate: all aware that they are likely to die in the near future. The love that they experience is a frantic refuge from the realities of war. Thus, with the dark cloud of despair hanging over the men, their encounters with the girls are rushed and hopeless as they realise how little time they have together. 'These small acts of love were an omen of terrible things to come.' This bitterness comes to a head when the men discover that their sweethearts have been shot. The deaths of these girls represents the end of hope for the men as they realise that even their pure and perfect love is without sanctity in the presence of war. This first portrayal of love is tragic and brief, allowing us to draw parallels with the lives of the soldiers who die in battle shortly after. As this takes place in the Jungle of Screaming Souls, it is fitting that the events indirectly force Kien to re-evaluate the presence of the ethereal in the jungle. ...read more.


Their encounter at the lake is a languidly peaceful stretch of the river. It is the 'long, new stretch of river, full of fire' in Kien's life that will rip the two apart with the sorrow of war. Although he establishes war's ability to conquer love, Ninh nonetheless compares the effect of war to the sensation of heartbreak. 'It was a sadness, a missing, a pain.' By doing this, not only does he make an ironic comment upon one's relationship with the mistress of War, but also succeeds in demonstrating the ways in which they are truly alike and can reduce grown men to emotional wrecks. Ninh's depiction of love lost is essentially a dull ache of sadness which sharpens with any specific trigger. It is interesting to note, however, that, on the 'recognition of some wonderful truth inside him'; Kien claims that it feels like 'love'. In this way, Ninh is able to show the last straw of hopefulness in relation to love than Kien and the other soldiers cling to. Ninh's depiction of love in war is powerfully sad. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Owen's war poetry

    By breaking lines into short fragments, he depicts the exhaustion and the limping of these men through the night. Also, whenever he talks about sufferings, Owen uses harsh sounds such as "k" (knock-kneed), "d" (drunk with fatigue, deaf to the hoots)", "b" and "p" (what we spoiled/ Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled")

  2. Articles of VN War

    That kh�ng sai khi n�i Hu� l� mot � nam v�ng. Do vay, c� le ch�ng t�i l� nguoi "may man"(?!) PHAI c� b�n phan "BI�T" r�t "ky" v� TCS v� to�n bo nhung ph�n tu hoat dong CS kh�c cua Hu�.

  1. Historical Vietnam Events

    N� goi khe v� b� cung h�i ha,ngen ng�o. Troi oi, con t�i!... C� T�m lang le quay g�nh mang v� b� Muoi l�c th�c theo sau. T�m chon qu�n c� ph� �ng Ti�u v� mang ca gi�ng g�nh v�o b�n ng�i, goi 2 ly "bac siu". Qu�n n�y chi b�n cho kh�ch xe th� xe l�i cho ban h�ng..

  2. Spanish task-of love and other demons

    Este hecho desencadena varias reacciones, entre ellas que su padre busque ayuda m�dica y Sierva sea declarada enferma de rabia y consecuentemente que su padre acuda al obispo quien dice que est� endemoniada. Esta reacci�n da origen al primer conflicto, pues Sierva debe ser internada en el convento de Santa

  1. Christmas - origins, traditions and ideas for making gifts.

    * Tie back those curtains here too! Use pinecones, or ornaments, or whatever. * Use holiday gift bags and fill them with cotton balls, toothbrushes, etc. * Buy some red and green soaps or bath beads and display them in a soap dish or small gift bag.

  2. HoD Jungle Imagery

    And the irony is here in this passage suggests that nature is more superior than human beings. Yet on the other hand, events from previous chapter foreshadows that nature might fight back against human. The vegetation growing through the skeletons of Fresleven who was a former executive of the Company

  1. Essay on Ghosts

    even though the atmosphere in the house is very negative, "filled with women" (581) who influence Bertha negatively, towards spiritualism or relgious extremism. Her grandmother frightens Bertha by an experiment with automatic writing, "she says the spirits will write;" (585)

  2. the animal farm

    Old Major initiated Animalism as a set of collective guidelines, rules and ideals which the animals tried to continue to uphold even after his death. He spoke vividly about no master and no oppression. All animals would be equal and share the profits equally.

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