In today's class, Mick and Mr. Brightman discussed the second part of Sebastian Junger's War. Since Sergio was not able to join us, we recorded our conversation for his benefit and for readers who are interested in following our progress through this unit. Good luck at OLMUN, Sergio! Enjoy...
Sebastian Junger’s bestseller book War is one of the most popular and insightful books about the war fought by U.S. troops in remote Afghanistan. This book is trying to show the readers what war actually feels like, and tries to analyze every aspect of war. Junger’s story is a journey from the mental to the physical state of a soldier during open combat. It is a book that makes your heart beat as if you were on the middle of the fight, as well as it makes you reflect on the causes and damages of war on individuals.
For example, on the first chapters, Junger tries to explain and analyze the sense of fear. The fear that a soldier feels when they are in the middle of an ambush and adrenaline goes up so fast that their brain can almost operate, and your heart beats so fast you can’t even aim your rifle. The author also insists that being a soldier remains the ultimate challenge of character because it does not only need experience and strength, but also a strong personality and to stay focused.
Another example of strong personality and how a soldier gets so much into war that forgets his principles, is how a couple of soldiers start smoking due to stress. They say that even though they hate how cigarettes taste, they think it’s relaxing and drives the tension away for a while. This clearly shows how war can consume individuals up to the point where they have to break their own principles in order to survive.