Johnny Got his Gun
When I first started reading Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo, I thought it would be more direct in its description of World War I. However, the entire novel takes place in one American soldier’s hospital bed. His name is Joe. He no arms, legs, or face, and he is deaf. Rendered this way after an explosive shell hit him, he has no way to communicate with the world.
Joe dreams throughout the novel, mostly about his memories, and because of this, a great deal of the book is disjointed and contains a dreamlike quality. Through his dreams, I learned about Joe’s life before the war. I learned he lost his father fairly young, and about his boyhood romances. Joe worked at the railroad, and at a bakery. Before he left for the war, he had a girlfriend named Kareen who I believe he wanted to marry.
When Joe is awake, he at first is unaware of his injuries. He realizes he is deaf, but he goes through several stages of denial and accept...