An Analysis of Combat Experiences Through Short Works of Historical Fiction




Nelson, Emma

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The experiences of American soldiers serving in different wars, while often showcased in film and print media, are rarely compared. The purpose of this project is to perform a cross-war qualitative analysis of the similarities and differences in American soldiers’ experiences during their day-to-day lives. The following short stories showcase some of the daily events and conditions that foot soldiers faced while serving in The Great War, World War II, and the Vietnam War. While the historical details provided in the stories are accurate to their respective periods, the central characters are fictional. However, the characters in each story are somewhat reflective of the archetypal foot soldier of the respective period, based on oral histories, veteran interviews, and literary research. This format allows for a comparison of the historical facts of each war as well as an exhibition of similarities and differences in soldiers’ psychological experiences.