1. Psychological characteristics of trench warfare are manifest in modern writing, especially by the authors Mailer, Heller, and Pynchon. These characteristics include feelings of isolation, defensiveness, obsessions with what others are doing, and paranoid melodrama. The most important of the shared traits is the notion of “the enemy” (Fussell 76). 2. The Great War was marked by the physical confrontation between “us” and “them. ” Implicit in this dichotomy is the idea that there can be no synthesis of the two poles. Only one is “right.
” This manner of thinking transferred to other realms of experience, and the resultant loss of ambiguity is one of the great casualties of war (Fussell 79). 3. Most of the poems of the Great War feature simple dichotomies, with two antithetical concepts being placed side-by-side. Examples of this concept include Graves’ Fairies and Fusiliers, Nichols’ Ardours and Endurances, and Gurney’s Severn and Somme. The lack of subtlety in these dichotomies is the reason why most of these poems have not proved to be durable works of art (Fussell 82).