Themes in Literature
What makes war such a prominent topic for books? Why do many who have experienced war in any capacity feel compelled to write about it? In this course, we will examine these and similar questions through exploring a wide variety of texts across multiple genres that were (almost) exclusively written by authors who had firsthand experience with war and its side effects. Because war has the potential to affect everyone, we will read from a diverse cast of authors: among others, these include a blind poet who glorified war, female spies from both sides of the Civil War, German and British WWI soldiers who hated war, an American using the veneer of science fiction to deal with his trauma from being a prisoner of war during WWII, and a Vietnamese-American whose parents fled Vietnam as refugees.