On holidays like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans’ Day, thoughts focus more to soldiers past, present and future. Editorials abound about the effects of war, focusing more on support of soldiers and less on political standings concerning the war itself.
Perhaps one of the most effective tools of persuasion when writing about politics, especially regarding war, is to take the empathic stance. Dalton Trumbo wrote the book on this with “Johnny Got His Gun.” Published in 1939, this classic piece of art is written from the perspective of a soldier.
The reader is thrown into a dark world where the light is slowly cast upon what little is left of the wounded man. He gradually recognizes each of his horrific and lasting injuries in a way that the reader is catapulted into a state of empathetic terror that will linger for years after reading the book.