Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington Term Paper

Pages: 3 (871 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Drama - World

Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington

Richard Aldington's Death of a Hero

Richard Aldington's 1928 novel Death of a Hero explores the author's autobiographical experiences in the First World War. Aldington had enlisted as a private in 1916; three years later, he would be demobilized as a captain.

The narrator of the story, who is most likely Aldington himself, tells the story of his friend, Captain George Winterbourne. Aldington tells us in the Prologue that the "hero" of the story is going to die. Death of a Hero literally begins with the death of its hero. On the 4th of November 1918, Winterbourne, either by mistake or on purpose, exposes himself to heavy machine gun fire and is killed. Thus, the rest of the novel will attempt to take into consideration what led to this final moment, by telling the story of Winterbourne's life.

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The first two parts of the book satirize the middle class Victorian existence of George, his parents, and his grandparents. Aldington savagely mocks their airless values. The parents of George seem to be overly sentimental and are blindfolded by sexual ignorance. They seem to have married each other almost by accident, and gone on to live lazy existences. Their son, George, would go on to become a painter, almost in rebellion against his parents' values. He begins to court Elizabeth. When she mistakenly believes that she is pregnant, George marries her. It turns out that the pregnancy was false. Elizabeth insists that the two of them should be free to have affairs with others. George concedes and is fairly relaxed about the arrangement. But when Elizabeth finds out that George is having an affair with her best friend Fanny, she reacts with fury.

When George decides to go to war, it is almost as though he has chosen to do so as a means of escaping this oppressive existence. He enlists as a private, whereupon he meets the narrator of the novel. The two of them while away much of their free time discussing art and literature.

Term Paper on Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington Assignment

George is released from the army on leave. He is exhausted from all the tension and hardships that battle inevitably entails. He feels like he can no longer relate to the bourgeois existence he had known before he went to war. What is more, both Fanny and Elizabeth behave in an arrogant manner towards him, making him feel as though he is not wanted, when they are not openly hostile towards his advances.

George then is forced to return to battle. There, the war brings more nervous strain on him. It begins to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington.  (2007, September 29).  Retrieved January 20, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/death-hero-richard-aldington/93633

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"Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington."  Essaytown.com.  September 29, 2007.  Accessed January 20, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/death-hero-richard-aldington/93633.