Thematic Synthesis Essay Example

Published: 2018-11-22
Thematic Synthesis Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 968 words
9 min read

Atonement by Dexter Filkins

In a nonfiction literature, a writer has various elements to consider in the description of individuals involved, the way they relate to the story, and their roles in the development of the plot. This paper discusses the story ‘Atonement’ by Filkins and compares it to the book, ‘The Living and the Dead: War, Friendship, and the Battles that Never End’ by Brian Mockenhaupt. It evaluates these stories with the theme of war bringing tragedies and peace being the cause of happiness using the non-fiction elements of point of view and character in evaluating the similarities and differences between these two stories.

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The first element to consider in the story is the point of view of the author, which describes the events, the characters involved, and their relationship to the plot of the story. In most parts of the story, the writer uses the third person point of view to narrate the story. In the first line of the story, he says,“Lu Lobello rose from his bed, switched on a light, and stared into the video camera on his computer.” Tragedy is described in various segments within the story with the objective of ensuring that the picture of the war is depicted clearly and even the aftermath of the war on the people who are affected in various ways are also clearly depicted.

At the beginning of the story, there is a flashback that is used in describing the war and the different elements of the war that remained as part of his memory. To the readers, this paints the image of the number of people the marine killed with some even not known who they are or their families (Filkins 3). This is where Filkins insert the character elements, which is help the reader learn and know more about the other people involved in the story. During the attack, there are various people who were hurt including Nora and Anna who are covered in most parts of the story. Their pain, their troubles after the attack, and the lives they were to live after the attack was a major challenge that they were looking forward to enduring. At the same time, their families and other close relatives also felt the pain.

At the end of the story, Lobello visits Nora as a gesture of care and compassion. To his surprise Nora and Margaret are forgiving rather than vengeful for the crimes committed to them and their families. This is an exemplification of peace and the need for happiness rather than contention. Margaret felt a sense of satisfaction for the confession of Lobello that he was the one who shot the gun (Mockenhaupt 45). Through Lobello’s realizing that his actions had impacted the lives of these women he takes a step towards apologizing, which also helps change the relationship among them. As a result, they refer to him as a brother and rather than consider an aggressive action as a response to the issue they would rather promote peace.

"The Living and the Dead: War, Friendship, and the Battles that Never End” by Brian Mockenhaupt

Brian discusses about the war and outlines the different ways that the government through the directions given to the military seek to save lives, protect people, and even help reduce the rate of crime in select regions and the internationally. However, there continues to be an issue in the way these wars are waged and the outcomes in terms of the way these wars impact the community and the victims of the war. War is depicted in two perspectives those who are winners and those that are considered as losers (25). The point of view used all through the paper is also third person. For instance, Mockenhaupt says in the perception Jimmy was forming about the advice being given by the office in charge as, “Jimmy knew better: he’d already served two violent tours in Iraq and had seen several friends die.” Despite these two extremities, war continues to become an issue that affects communities, individuals, and even nations. With the ideologies behind the reasons for war, there are no defined outcome and solutions that can be considered as the definition of the war and the possibilities of ending.

Without war, Mockenhaupt describes the peace people live in and the way they get to thrive in terms of relationships with each other, their connection to one another, and their abilities to develop themselves within the society. The description of the alternative to war helps him introduce the characters of the story. Mockenhaupt talks about Tom, a close companion of Jimmy at the base who also is a great companion of Jimmy all through the book. These are some of the elements that war has destroyed in the communities and will continue to destroy in the current generation.

These two books present the concept of war, the outcomes of war, and the impact that it has on the communities. Each use a different perspective of the theme of war, but in their representations, they seek to maximize their efforts in presenting an accurate and concise data that can help readers see the similarities and differences between their accounts. In terms of literature, both present an analysis and evaluation of elements of character and points of view with each using the characters to help the reader understand the story and the point of view to define and keep the reader focused on the main character of the story.

Works Cited

Filkins, Dexter. "Atonement." 5 November 2012. The New Yorker. 10 April 2017 <>.

Mockenhaupt, Brian. The Living and the Dead: War, Friendship, and the Battles that Never End. Excerpt. New York: Wiley, 2012. 45-49.

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