War Horse vs. Truce

By: Miranda, Zoe, Mary Lib, and Isabelle

Theme

The theme of Truce is doing the right thing in difficult situations. During WWI, the Christmas truce took place. Although most commanders disagreed with the truce and did not want their soldiers to participate, a lot of them did. As written in the book, "...most higher-ranking officers felt the business of war had to go on" (Murphy, 51). While, "the soldiers, however, were ready for Christmas and a break from random death" (Murphy, 54). As some soldiers wandered towards the enemy, Lieutenant Charles McLean, "...ran along the trenches, shouting for his men to return, but they ignored his instructions" (Murphy, 69). The soldiers didn't listen to their commanders when they told them not to participate, they did what they thought was right.



The theme of War Horse is that friendship can last through anything. Even through constant trauma and war, Albert and Joey shared an unbreakable bond. Joey says, "I knew then that I had found a friend for life, that there was an instinctive and immediate bond of trust and affection between us" (7). Also, after not seeing each other for a long time, Albert says, "It's my Joey. I've found him. He's come back to me just like I said he would" (130). Albert knew that when Joey was sent off to war, it would not be the last time he would see him. Joey and Topthorn also shared a strong bond. Joey says, "My comfort came from Topthorn, who ... would lean his great head over the stall and let me rest on his neck" (42).



Truce and War Horse both have very similar ideas. Both stories deal with friendship through suffering and war. In Truce, the Allies and the Germans completely cease fighting during Christmas time. One commander says, "the ground between the two lines of trenches was swarming with men and officers of both sides, shaking hands and wishing each other a happy Christmas" (Murphy, 72). In War Horse, Joey and Topthorn develop a relationship even while working at war. Joey says, "I knew that once I left (Topthorn) I would be alone in the world again, that I would no longer have his strength and support beside me. So I stayed with him and waited" (Morpurgo, 105). Both texts support this overlapping theme of friendship through trauma.



The plot in both of these stories played an essential role in shaping the theme. If the setting had not been at war, then the theme would have been completely different. The plot emphasizes how friendship can last through war and fighting, and without the war taking place the relationships that existed in the stories would not be as significant.

Plot/Setting

WAR HORSE

In the very beginning, Joey was at a horse sale, he got sold to Albert's father because he wanted to win the bid.


ALBERT'S FAMILY

This was when Albert named the horse Joey. Albert trained Joey to become a great farm horse, so his family could keep Joey, because Joey was now making money. Albert loved and cared for Joey, Joey made friends with Zoe, the other farm horse. They plowed the fields together and became good friends. Joey was well fed and had a good life. Alberts family needed money, so Alberts father sold Joey to Captain Nicholls, to be in the British Army.


BRITISH ARMY WITH CAPTAIN NICHOLLS

Joey was trained to be a war horse, to be a cavalry mount. Captain Nicholls rode Joey. This is when he first met Topthorn, another horse that he saw almost as a competitor, then as a friend. Then Captain Nicholls fell off of Joey in battle, and Joey never saw him again.


BRITISH ARMY WITH TROOPER WARREN

Joey still had Topthorn as a friend, but now Trooper Warren rides him. Joey and Topthorn, with their riders, were the only ones to make it through the barbed wire in a battle. They were all captured, Joey and Topthorn must now work under the Germans.


GERMAN ARMY

Joey and Topthorn worked together to pull an ambulance cart back to the German infirmary. They were loved and cheered on by many soldiers and are respected war heroes. The Germans gave the horses to Emilie and her grandfather to care for until the German Army needed them again.


EMILIE AND HER GRANDFATHER

Joey and Topthorn worked together plowing the fields, they became farm horses. It took Topthorn some practice, but he got the hang of it soon enough. Emilie loved both of them and never let them get overworked. One day a different group of Germans came and took Joey and Topthorn back to the army.


GERMAN ARMY

Joey and Topthorn worked together as calvary horses, pulling guns and ammunition. Crazy Old Friedrich took care of them. They worked along with other horse that all eventually passed. It was hard work, the ground was muddy, and there was little food through the winter, Joey worked harder to make up form Topthorn becoming week. Topthorn and Joey survived to the harsh winter and became stronger. One day Friedrich, Topthorn and Joey decided to rest in the shade. Topthorn died and shortly there after Friedrich died from shelling.


NO MANS LAND

After the death of Topthorn and Friedrich Joey stayed for a while, then started to run. He ran for a really long time. He found himself stuck in the middle of No Mans Land. He got stuck in some barbed wire and got a terrible injury on his leg. He broke free and continued to run. He got to a spot, where soldiers on either side were calling from Joey to come to them, he tried each side, but the couldn't find a way through the barbed wire. A man from each side came towards him with white cloth. They flipped a coin to see who got him, the British won.


BRITISH ARMYS HORSE HOSPITAL

Since Joey got injured in No Mans Land, he was taken to the hospital. There he reunited with Albert, even though it took Albert a while to realize it. He got sick with tetanus, and Albert and other workers helped Joey get through his sickness. Joey survived the disease and then Albert was told Joey had to be sold in France in a horse sale.


HORSE SALE

Sergeant Thunder tried to buy Joey, but he couldn't bid any more than 26 pounds. The butcher, Monsieur Cirac of Cambrai, bid 27 pounds, almost winning the bid. Then Emilie's grandfather bids 28 pounds, and says that he would have bid up to 100 pounds if he needed to, he won the bid.


AFTER THE HORSE SALE

Emilie's grandfather explains to Albert how Emilie loved Joey and Topthorn, and made her grandfather promise that he would find them and care for them forever, that was her dying wish because she was very sick and died at 15 years old. Then Albert explained how he trained Joey to be the great farm horse he is, grew up with Joey, and how he loved Joey so much. Emilie's grandfather decided to sell Joey to Albert, "for one English Penny, and for a solemn promise- that he will always love Joey as much as Emilie did and that he would care for him until the end of his days." Also he made Albert promise to tell Emilie's story of how she cared for Joey and Topthorn when they lived with them.


Connection

WWI was fought with new technologies that changed the way war was fought. The weapon used to kill Friedrich was a type of the new weapon/ technology used in this war.

War Horse Questions and Answers

Questions

1) What would happen if joey was not sold in the beginning of the book?


2) What do you infer would happen if Emilie never died?


3) How does seeing WWI through the perspective of a horse change what you think about WWI?


4) Joey the horse is clearly the protagonist of War Horse, but who or what do you think is the antagonist of the book?


Answers

1)he would have stayed with Albert and the plot of the story would completely change.


2) If emilie never died then Joey would have stayed with her and her grandfather and worked the farm.


3) Seeing the war through the eyes of a horse really makes you think about how horses were truly needed in WWI to pull the ambulance and guns and how they were true friends to the soldiers and kept them company.


4) The antagonist of the story was the war, because it did so much trauma to every one in it and it killed off almost all of the companions that Joey made during the story and it scared him for life because he had to see all of his horse friends die.

Poem

Caged within the encircling wire

Heart and soul afire

Afire with longing for things of home

The glorious heaths once more to roam


Thoughts come springing from far away

Of loved ones kiss, of children play

Visions of comrades sharing the fight

Clothed in Khaki a strange garb for a knight


Yet each one a crusader against power and lust

Till evil is humbled to the dust

Then free once more to roam

Through flowered fields to an English home

All heartbreak and sorrow past

Living in peace

Perfect at last


By Victor Tosh

Point Of View

War Horse:

First Person

"... I had already noticed it," page 17.

After Friedrich lead Joey and Topthorn to the river to drink, he took them back up the hill. Topthorn stumbled a few times, but regained his balance each time. As they were reaching the shade of the tree, Topthorn stumbled to the ground and did not get up again. Joey stopped as is Topthorn would just stand back up, but he did not. Friedrich checked Topthorn’s pulse, but there was not one to check, Topthorn was dead. --- pages 101-102, re-written in third person.


Truce:

Third Person

"Most men believed that battles were fought under gentlemanly rules," page 22.

On Christmas morning, I look up out of the trench to see the British holding up a sign that says Merry Christmas. Later we hold up a sign saying You No Fight, We No Fight. Our Captains get out of the trenches and meet each other in No Mans Land, they shake hands and talk for a bit. My Captain gives us the "All Clear" signal and we leave the trenches to join them. It's great to be out of the trenches, we introduce ourselves to the British and play soccer for a while, I think it was a great way to take a break from war. At night we head back to our trenches. The next day we were told we had to start fighting again. --- parts of chapter five, re-written in first person.


In first person, the theme is more personal and in third person, it is more a a main idea or topic.

Characters

Joey - The story is told from Joey's point of view. Joey is "a spindly-looking half Thoroughbred colt" (2). Joey is a dynamic character throughout the book. In the beginning, Joey is happy and untroubled.


Albert - Albert is very respectful and always does what his parents tell him to do, and he is very devoted to the farm and to Joey. In fact, Albert becomes a part of the veterinarian medics, hoping that one day he will find Joey again.



Albert's Dad - Albert's dad is very stern, and is not afraid to hurt Joey. He has tried to whip Joey, threatened to shoot him, and sold him to the military for forty pounds. He says to Joey, "Give me trouble and I'll whip you till you bleed" (11). He also is known to always be drinking. Albert says, "When father's drunk, he doesn't know what he's saying or what he's doing. He's always drunk on market days" (5). Albert's dad is a flat character. We don't know very much about his past, and he is not very open.



Topthorn - Topthorn is "a tall, shining black stallion" (38) and "an eight-horsepower horse" (40). Topthorn is more of a flat character. We don't know about his past life, and he only talks about war-related thoughts.



Emilie's Grandfather - Emilie's grandfather is a protagonist. He saves Joey from being sold to a butcher, and enables Joey and Albert to live together forever. He places a bid on Joey at the last minute for 28 pounds, winning the auction. He tells Albert he will sell Joey to him, but Albert says he doesn't have enough. He then says, "I will sell you this horse for one English penny, and for a solemn promise - that you will always love this horse as much as my Emilie did and that you will care for him until the end of his days" (163). Emilie's grandfather lets Albert take Joey back home with him. Emilie's grandfather is also a round character. He doesn't hold back telling people about Emilie and about himself. He says, "I want you to tell everyone about Emilie and about how she looked after your Joey ... You see, my friend, I want my Emilie to live on in people's hearts. I shall die soon, in a few years, ... and then no one will remember my Emilie as she was. She will just be a name on a gravestone that no one will read. So I want you to to tell your friends at home about my Emilie as she was" (163).

Look at the Picture

This picture relates to War Horse because in the book many horses struggled and died while pulling the gun. Just like Topthorn and other horses in the book they began to start struggling until most of them ended up dying. “Dead and dying horses...lay in great numbers by the side of the roads.” (pg 24) (Truce) Horses played a big role in world war 1. They would pull guns and were the best source for transportation. This hard work began to show and for some horses the job became too severe for many horses struggled and died. (War Horse quote)



This picture also relates to War Horse and Truce. In the book War Horse Albert and many others who knew Joey cared for him greatly. Horses were almost like a friend in War Horse. Horses were not just an animal, they were more than that, they were important and well cared for. “Worse still, horses dying but not yet dead, sometimes struggling a little, a strange appeal in their eyes, looked at the passing columns whose dust covered them, caking their thirsty lips and nostrils. (pg 24) (Truce) Many horses died in World War 1 and soldiers tried as much as they could to keep them well cared for and alive. (War Horse Quote) (Look at when joey first goes to war)

Part Of Me


Days like this I want to drive away

Pack my bags and watch your shadow fade

You chewed me up and spit me out

Like I was poison in your mouth

You took my light, you drain me down

That was then and this is now

Now look at me

Chorus:

This is the part of me

That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no

This is the part of me

That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no

Throw your sticks and your stones

Throw your bombs and your blows

But you’re not gonna break my soul

By: Katy Perry



The song and the poem relate because the song talks about how although a hard time has hit her (breakup) she is still strong and the poem is the same thing. The song and the poem are both talking about how although going through hard times is tough they keep fighting and they end up staying true to themselves and what they believe in. War- war is tough in its self and World War 1 was exceptionally difficult, but the soldiers in battle fought and served their country. “Part of Me”- The song also talks about going through a hard time, but how they are still strong and unbreakable.

Team Quetions

A) February 13, 2012

B) The purpose was to show people who are going through breakups can still be strong.

C) The resolution was that although she has gone through a hard time with her breakup, she is still strong and unbreakable

D) The era that the song was written in modern day time.

E) Katy Perry uses pathos to spark emotion in the listener, she says, "You chewed me up and spit me out," which pulls on your emotion, as well as "This is a part of me that you will never take away from me."

Look at the picture

This picture relates to War Horse because in the book many horses struggled and died while pulling the gun. Just like Topthorn and other horses in the book they began to start struggling until most of them ended up dying. “Dead and dying horses...lay in great numbers by the side of the roads.” (pg 24) (Truce) Horses played a big role in world war 1. They would pull guns and were the best source for transportation. "His breathing was suddenly short and rasping. Then, as we neared the shade of the trees, Topthorrn stumbled to his knees and did not get up again." This hard work began to show and for some horses the job became too severe for many horses struggled and died.





This picture also relates to War Horse and Truce. In the book War Horse Albert and many others who knew Joey cared for him greatly. Horses were almost like a friend in War Horse. Horses were not just an animal, they were more than that, they were important and well cared for. “Worse still, horses dying but not yet dead, sometimes struggling a little, a strange appeal in their eyes, looked at the passing columns whose dust covered them, caking their thirsty lips and nostrils. (pg 24) (Truce) Many horses died in World War 1 and soldiers tried as much as they could to keep them well cared for and alive. "He was meticulous and kind in his grooming and attended at once to my frequent and painful saddle sores..."

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