A Critique of “Gone to Soldiers” by Marge PiercyA Critique of “Gone to Soldiers” by Marge PiercyThe novel Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy intricately weaves the livesof many different people into a connected series of individual plots that givethe reader an exciting view of life during World War II. Piercy connects thelives of women and men, Jews and gentiles by using family ties and steamy loveaffairs. The people have dramatically different profiles, some are rich someare poor, some are Americans, some are French, some are with power while othersare persecuted, but everyone is connected by the war. War freed women byallowing them to work in factories and defy their husbands by hiding resistingFrench Jews. Piercy makes history exciting by making each character reallyexperience love and hate and the mundane daily struggles of the individual. I completely enjoyed Gone to Soldiers, because several main charactersprevented me from getting bored and kept me reading to find out what was goingto happen to each person next.
I really enjoyed the profile of Louise Kahan afemale Jewish American writer, because she is independent and strong willed. Anexample of her strength and belief in herself Louise did not instantly return toher ex-husband Oscar even though they both still loved each other, because shewas strong enough to resist him and his womanizing ways. Piercy gave me a muchbetter understanding of the cultural and social issues of the World War two era. I learned about the little struggles of working American women, such as theunavailability of stockings and society’s negative attitude towards womenwearing pants. These issues were ones that I had never thought about before.
It amazes me that only fifty years ago a woman could not wear pants to work. Ruthie’s friend was sent home to change for wearing loose fitting red pantsbecause they were considered racy. It is equally surprising to me that womenstill have to wear hose with our skirts or be deemed inappropriate. I do notunderstand how society has completely changed from a white male society into amuch more diverse culture and still expect women to wear uncomfortable hose. Piercy made complete sense throughout the entire book and most importantly shekept my attention.
Piercy’s point of view was biased favorably towards AmericanJews. I enjoyed the book because it kept my attention on the individual livesof people in the midst of war instead of the battles fought during the war. Ialso liked the complicated weave of lives into one story like a patchwork quilt. In conclusion, I enjoyed Marge Piercy’s novel Gone to Soldiers, becauseit kept my attention with realistic descriptions of people with whom I began toreally understand their feelings and thoughts.
Other students should read thisbook if they like historical fiction, because it is so captivating. Piercy usesthe individual as a piece of the whole picture, important but not the entiretyof the work which makes this book so intriguing.