The Thin Red Line Essay Research Paper
The Thin Red Line Essay, Research Paper Stephanie Smirnoff per.1 Eng.3 Nathanson The Thin Red Line During the blood-stained war of the novel The Thin Red Line a theme is presented, “Only the courageous and emotionally strong-willed survive.” Throughout the storyline, the army of men parading through Guadalcanal are bombarded with unpredictable situations and odds. Only the men with courage at their backs and their heads screwed on straight can get through this chaos. The timid, scared stiff ones will not get out alive, but the ones who swallow their nerves can survive. Several men display these qualities of bravery such as: Private Jon Bell, Captain James Stein, and Corporal Fife. Their heroic characteristics and deeds what saved the men overall, disobeying their sergeant included. They did what they needed to do to keep as many people alive as possible. The ones who are left standing were the ones who kept their cool. The men discovered what was “the thin red line” between the living and the dead, the crazy and the sane, how to live another day. Towards the beginning of the story this theme has been portrayed through the minds of many soldiers. These men know that half of them are going to die in the field of battle . Slowly the soaking in of this eats away at the souls of the men. They each become more and more nervous and awaiting their time to attack. “Only the strong survive…” “…Why showed I be afraid to die?” Corporal Fife says this before his trip into the jungle . With a good attitude and acceptance of the future his will power drives him forth to fight amazingly. He watches others as they cry out and can’t take anymore. The ones who buckle under the pressure and can’t find their way die. Giving up on himself is the worst he could have done in his situation. He runs ahead of all the men to see what he can do to break down enemy lines. As he hurdles into open fire he does not freeze up he presses himself on and on. In the middle of the novel, a great role of sacrifice and cunning is played. Captain James Stein shows a major amount of intelligence and persistence as he refuses orders from his superiors. “I will not drive my men to suicide,” he retires and pulls out of command. His decision to disobey orders makes him risk his job and life to save his men. His emotional stability adds comfort to those around him making easier times. He tries dreadfully hard to keep everyone together to pull through to destroy the enemy bunker. He uses all he’s got with low water supplies and eyes shutting from exhaustion. Even when he’s dismissed he remains close to his army “as they are my sons”. He carries them with him always. His fearlessness and encouragement will live on in all of the men, even in his absence. As the war stretches on, the men stretch on, so does their need for stability and strength, emotionally and physically. “Who lit this flame in us, the war can put it out…” “…I was a prisoner, but it set me free,” Private John cries out. He displays his time of glory and truth as he runs ahead. He peeks through the tall grasses, and is the first, on his own, to see the enemy bunker. His thirst for victory drives him to lead men in beating down the enemy lines. If he had not kept calm and instead had allowed his emotions to get the better of him through the field of death they wouldn’t have conquered the Japanese. Fight or be beaten down, “don’t lose what’s the good in us, touch the glory…” His courage was admired even by his superiors. What he did took great self-confidence and will power. In conclusion, the expression of loyalty to country and strong hearts is continued in each page. In the theme “only the courageous and emotionally strong-willed survive” true bravery is defined. Each surviving man’s composure and guts lives through them especially at the hardest times. To exist is to suffer.