War Horse: The Animal Stories in World Wars

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The movie War Horse came out on December 25, 2011. The majority of the movie occurred during the first World War. The beginning of the movie is not about the first World War, but it does eventually start talking about the war. One of the main things about the movie is this horse called Joey and his owner Albert Narracott. The entire movie shows the story of this horse and part of his story was being in the war. His time in the war is why he is called a “War Horse”.

The film addresses the topic at hand by showing parts of the first World War and how Joey the horse experienced the war. The movie was about the war, but most of it was about the horse and his journey after being given to a soldier in the English army who later died and caused the horse to end up with the German army. The horse was intended to help the ambulances get to their medical tents. While with the German army Joey ends up being used by two brothers who became deserters that hid in a windmill. 

The brothers were killed for deserting the war and Joey and another horse end up being cared for by a girl named Emilie and her grandfather. While Emilie was out riding the two horses were taken back by the German’s who use the horses to carry some artillery. It looked like a hard thing to be a part of. The horses had trouble carrying the weight of the artillery. This led to the horses to become injured. After running away Joey ends up getting caught by barbed wire in no man's land. After being freed by an Englishman and a German man Joey goes with the English man. The English man goes to ask for a vet to come take care of the horse. The officer gives the order to put Joey out of his misery. Before he was going to shoot Joey, Albert, his original owner, whistles to him and goes to find his horse even though he had been gassed in the face.

 He was gassed in the face because Albert and a few others made their journey through no-mans-land into the German trenches. He tells the officer what Joey looks like and after being cleaned off he realizes that the horse does, in fact, belong to Albert. To get his horse back he would have to pay so his fellow soldiers give him money to get his horse back. But Emilie’s grandfather outbids him. He eventually gives the horse back to Albert after seeing the horse go to Albert when he was trying to take Joey with him. The film ends after seeing Albert and Joey get back to their family.

A bias in War Horse would be the fact that every single person in the movie was white. There was no person of color in the movie. It was probably filmed like that since during the war there was still racism and everything was segregated. Things were either white or colored. Nobody would want to fight in a war where the colored people fought among them. They were allowed to join the war if they went into the 4 segregated army units. There was no unit that allowed both white and African American people to fight alongside each other. The British, or English men, had 20,000 Black Canadians that served in segregated units.

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The film was made in 2011, almost a hundred years after the first world war began in 1914. That means that the director had access to a lot of information about the war, so that means that the parts about the battles might be historically accurate. As time passes facts about WW1 will continue to come out. One day everything about the war will come out. But having all the information that has been found at that point made for a good script. The information they did have in 2011 made a pretty great war movie. Everything was made to be as historically accurate as it was throughout the movie.

The goal of the film was to show the journey of a horse during the first world war. Most WW1 films only show the war and the peoples journey throughout the war. They have never cared about the horses who go through the war along with the people. Even though the movie is a war movie it shows war for the purpose of the horse's journey. The movie shows the story of a horse named Joey. From when he was born, to when he went through everything in the war, and when he was reunited with his family at the end of the war. Each person in the war that helped Joey was leading him to his true family. The ones that raised and trained him. 

They made Joey be the best type of horse that anyone would want to have as a partner to engage in any battle. He was a good horse, whether for a family or for an officer to ride into the war. The movie showed how good of a horse Joey was. Even though he went through a lot he still managed to never forget his owner. It was a magical and sweet scene to watch the horse reunite with Albert. Even though Albert was temporarily blinded by the gas he still was able to identify his horse. He was not the only soldier that was affected by the gas. In 1915 chemical warfare made its way into the war. Chemical warfare intended to terrorize their opponents. 

Joey did not let that get in the way of finding his owner. Albert trained Joey to be good at farm work so that they can still plow the field to get the money to pay for the farm. He knew his owner just because of hearing his voice and hearing the whistle that was used to get Joey to come toward Albert. When the grandfather of Emilie, who died, purchased Joey and tried to take him away the horse went straight to Albert and did not want to go with the man. Joey was determined to stay with Albert and would not go with anyone else. So he allowed Albert to take Joey home saying that’s what his granddaughter would have wanted to happen to the horse.

The movie impacted my understanding of the historical events depicted in it by showing examples of battles. None of the battles that happened in the movie happened. They were just showing what a battle might have been like. It shows what happened if someone decided to desert their units. An example is that two brothers from the German side who left the war and were caught the next day. They were killed as a punishment for being a deserter.

The film does show evidence of what has been taught this semester. Throughout this semester we talked about before the war and after the war. This is similar to the movie that showed before and after the war. Both the notes and the movie talked about soldiers life during the war. In the movie, the soldiers used trench warfare. They also talked about no-mans land. Most soldiers stayed in the trenches until they were ordered to come out of the trenches. They did not want to go through no-mans-land because they could have been shot. 

So only two people cared enough to go save the horse, Joey, from being trapped in the barbed wire in no-mans land. The horse was saved by an English man and a German man. They both put aside the battle that was going on so that they could both could help the horse with neither side firing their guns on the opposite side. The British had a plan to destroy the trenches and artillery from Germany. The Germans had 2 front lines with 3 or more trenches on each line.

The war may not have been the center piece of the movie, but it still showed the war in the background. The horse Joey was the center piece of the movie. If there had not been a good horse like Joey was then the movie would have been pointless. Joey was one of the few horses left that was very well trained. Every part of the movie was used to show the journey of Joey the horse. The horse's journey was through the war so that one day Joey could be returned to his owner. He was a War Horse meaning that he was able to stay alive throughout the war. Both of the books we read this semester talked about trenches and no-mans land. The book, The Beauty and the Sorrow, showed the lives many people and their experiences during the war. In the book, Yashka My Life as Peasant, Exile and Soldier, talked about one woman who was serving in the Russian Army. It showed how she lived in the trenches with the other soldiers even though she was a woman.  

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War Horse: The Animal Stories in World Wars [Internet]. WritingBros. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2024 Jul 20]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/war-horse-the-animal-stories-in-world-wars/
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