The Wars

What was the role of violence in the story?

Different examples of how violence was used in the story and its significance

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Violence alternately takes on the role of chaos and order in the novel. The chaos of the war is fairly obvious. Soldiers die and towns and nations are torn apart by the battles. Robert tries at first to suppress his own violent feelings and impulses. He relies on his pistol to give him a sense of protection and uses it to restore order during the gas attack when his men panic. The element of fire, we come to see, can be either a tool or a terrible oppressor. Robert also uses this violence in defiance of the chaos of the war. Juliet witnesses him unloading his pistol on a tree in frustration. He uses violence to exact his own moral justice on Captain Leather and the war itself.