The second piece to be considered is an extract from ‘Charlotte Gray’ called ‘The Last Night,’ by Sebastian Faulks. In this extract, Faulks describes 2 Jewish orphaned brothers waiting to be taken to a concentration camp. He describes the night before they depart, the surroundings, the people and the emotion. Faulks describes how small gestures have a great impact on the detainees. Postcards were provided by an orderly on which to write messages home.
The deportees used pencils that had “survived the barracks search,” indicating how precious these small necessities were, and on writing their notes, many were “sobbing with passion,” seemingly aware of their fate. Likewise, one boy should immense gratitude for a sardine can of water by embracing the woman that was distributing the water-a small token of kindness for those who are suffering Faulks presents the living conditions as poor. He describes how Andri?? is “lying in the dug.
” Perhaps he has succumbed to the inevitable. Likewise, he describes adults “refusing to drink because they knew it meant breakfast, and therefore departure. ” He later describes how the children “dug their heels into the dirty straw,” rather then going on to the bus. All these factors encompass a sense of panic, suggesting that they fear their imminent death. Faulks uses imagery of children as a strong emotional illustration. He describes a woman starring fixedly at her child for the last time.
He uses the phrase “terrible ferocity,” this could be confused with anger or hatred, but no, the woman is trying so hard to fix that image of her child in her memory before he or she succumbs to the inevitable. Faulks as describes how children have to be “aided” on to the bus. This gives us an image that the children are too young to die and on top of that, a final monstrosity of how a baby of a few weeks old is placed into the cramped interior. There are similarities and differences between these 2 pieces.
Both leave you feeling that war is a bad place to be in, but approached it a slightly different way. Both Owen and Faulks use the experiences of young soldiers to illustrate the horrors of the First World War and the feelings of fear, shock and disgust created in these men by the atrocities of conflict. Owen writes from personal experience, having fought in the war, whereas Faulks maps the journey of a young Englishman through historical fiction.