ISC John Brown : a victim of vain glory in war


John Brown

Question: John Brown is a victim of the vain glory in war. Discuss this statement with reference to the poem “John Brown”.

Answer: The poem “John Brown” is based on the anti war theme with John Brown as a main protagonist.
        In this poem the poet reveals the meaningless nature of the War which gives only sorrow to the soldiers and their families. He asks a question ,whether glory in war is more valuable than the life?
        John Brown is seen as a victim  of war hungry rulers who destroy many innocent young lives for their selfish desire. War has been glorified in literature since ancient times, the soldiers who die in the War are given the status of martyrs.
        Any war in any country is as the terrible, callous and futile for individuals and society as the one in the poem. John Brown, who becomes “a puppet in a play “can be seen as the representative of any soldier fighting for false glory. Soldiers are affected physically as well as psychologically.

         John Brown’s mother can be seen as the representative of all those who glorify war in the name of heroism, gallantry and glory and then force young men to be a part of such dreadful events. She is totally ignorant of the horrors of war, she considers fighting in war as an ideal pursuit for the young men like him. John Brown admits this fact of his mother’s lack of knowledge about the horrifying effects of war, when he says that she thought that it was “the best thing” he could do and that she was not standing ” in his shoes “.
         John Brown, once a handsome young man ,goes off to fight a war. His mother feels proud on seeing her son dressed in a soldier’s uniform. But the gruesome reality is that the same war which wins him medals leaves him disfigured. He comes back home with his face all shot up, his his hand blown off and a metal brace around his waist. This war though does not kill him physically, but leaves him shattered, both physically and mentally. His condition becomes so wretched that he could hardly speak. Now he is reduced to a mere victim of war.

       The contrasting images of John’s physical appearance before and after the war depict clearly that glorification of war is flawed.
      John’s last act of asking his mother to coma closer to him is not to show her love or affection but to “drop his medals down into her hand”. This shows that winning laurels at the cost of your own well being is no achievement. The final act depicts that the glory has nothing to do with war. All the soldiers are victims of war, not just because their enemy, but due to the delusions of those who glorify it.
         These soldiers who fight on the battlefield are just puppets in the hands of war mongering administrators, who glorify war and warriors to satisfy their own purposes.
       See more click here

4 thoughts on “ISC John Brown : a victim of vain glory in war”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top