Johnny Got His Gun

A Literary Analysis of "Johnny Got His Gun" 12th Grade

In an excerpt from the novel, Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo shifts from an apprehensive to a resigned tone utilizing the boy’s changing perspective, focused details, and sophisticated diction proving that with focus and determination one can successfully develop into a mature adult.

Trumbo narrates the story as an outsider, in order to emphasize the importance of a father and son relationship. He is able to divulge the feelings of both the father and the son, “It was an ending and a beginning and he wondered just how he should tell his father about it.” Trumbo is able to create a universality around their strange situation by making it represent puberty and the boy’s transition from adolescence to adulthood. During this time, a shift in dominance occurs between the men in the house and it becomes a power struggle whilst balances out once puberty is over and both are equal in manhood. Trumbo was also able to tune into Joe’s specific dilemma by considering context clues and eye contact, “He sat in front of the fire and looked across at his father and wondered just how he was going to tell him,” which he manipulated to fit his own personal views and life experience. However, the focus is on the boy’s inability to read his...

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