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Thisessay seeks to provide information on the literature of war. I willfocus on three main books. From these three books, I will select onemajor theme of war literature that is common to all and explain it. Iwill also analyze how this theme is prevalent in the three books aswell as explaining common figurative language and symbols that appearin each text which depict the theme. I will also touch on thesignificance of perpetuating such a theme in war literature and whatthis suggests about society fascination with war. The three books tobe discussed are Persepolis, The Things They Carried, and Maus.


Thisis an autobiographical graphic novel. It is one written by SatrapiMarjane. In this novel she describes her years right from herchildhood through hear early years in adulthood. She talks about thenation of Iran during as well as after the revolution of Islam (Ryan,2012). The book was originally written in French but has over theyears been translated to other languages including English. Thesequotes illustrate the theme survival which is discussed in the novel“For a revolution to succeed, the entire population must supportit.” “They insulted me. They said that women like me should bepushed up against a wall and fucked. And then thrown in the garbage….And that if I didn`t want that to happen, I should wear theveil…” these quotes reveal how hard life was for her.

Thesisstatement: Inthis book therefore, the author explains about her life and how shegets over everything that happens to block her way during her lifeundertakings.

TheThings They Carried

Thisis a novel written in the form of short stories. It is one written byO’Brien Tim about a group of soldiers in the United States ofAmerica. It was published in the year 1990 and most of the charactersin the book are semi-autobiographical, who share features from ismemoir “IfI Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home.”Thisbook was dedicated by Tim to the Alpha Company men whom he engaged ina fight with, during the war.

Thesisstatement: Inthis book, the author has also talked of survival in life through howsoldiers struggle in life. These are individuals who are known toexperience most hard times in their lives and try hard to makecertain that they make it through the hard times. “The thing abouta story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others mightthen dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination andlanguage combine to make spirits in the head. There is the illusionof aliveness.” This is another quote which shows that the soldiershad a rough time.


Thisis yet another graphic novel which was written by an Americancartoonist Art Spiegelman. This novel illustrates Art interviewing isfather about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor and a PolishJew. “It would take many books, my life, and no one wants anywayto hear such stories.” This novel actually uses techniques of thepostmodern times in this description of human races as animals ofdifferent kinds. In this case, the book describes the Jews as micethe Germans as cats and the non-Jewish poles as pigs. This book hasbeen given various descriptions. Among these descriptions are:history, biography, autobiography, memoir, fiction or mix of genres(Ryan, 2012). These are the various titles that have been given tothis book. Generally, the book describes the experience of Art duringhis life. I

Thesisstatement: Inthis book, Art tries to tell about his experience indirectly since heuses most of the quotes from the narration of the dad. This gives aclear impression that most of the words are not his own but is ableto bring the point home to the readers.

Themain theme that is common between these books is survival.Inthe three books, the contexts are written in form of autobiography.This gives a clear impression that the authors are writing about whatthey experienced as well as the strategies they used to deal with theproblems they faced. From “Persepolis”the author provides information on how she grew up and the experienceshe had in life. This shows that she speaks out her mind based on hermemories and her part experiences. She describes how life has beenfor her. She tells of all the ups and down she has had in life andhow she managed to go through everything.

Lookingat “TheThings They Carried,”the author does not actually write about his own life. He writesshort stories about the soldiers of the United States. He providesinformation on how the life of the soldiers is and how they manage todeal with tough situations related to their position. In this case,the novel is similar to the first one in terms of the informationprovided. Even though not both authors are talking about their ownlives, both of them are discussing about lives and the hardshipsfaced as well as the tactics used to overcome those hardships.

Mauswhichis the third book tells about an author who describes his lifethroughasking his dad some questions. This novel also talks about survivalin life though through narration. The author in this case asks hisdad about his life where his dada provides him with the informationhe uses to come up with the context.

Fromthe information provided above, it is clear that the three novelshave one theme in common. They are all talking about survival in lifethough from different perspectives. This shows that all the threenovels are talking about the same thing but with different authorsusing different contexts.


Ryan,M. (2012). AnIntroduction to Criticism: Literature-Film-Culture. UnitedStates: John Wiley &amp Sons.