Sample Argumentative Essay on Journal book: Johnny Got His Gun

Journal on the book: Johnny Got His Gun

What we fight for

In the history of man, it is recorded that very few wars have been organized and fought by ordinary people in society. Such war is the Chinese revolution in the 1950s where civilians overthrew an autocratic and insensitive government from power. Still, one would argue as to whether it was war or civil unrest. In fact, people of higher political, economic, and social class than the mere foot soldiers have altogether organized the few wars that are known to have been waged by ordinary individuals. Wars are normally fought due to two main reasons in contemporary society. That is political reasons, economic reasons, or both. As such, there are always interests to be served in times of war. Such interests do not only serve the people at the pick of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but also to a certain extent those in the lower hierarchy of needs. This is because of the animal nature of man to organize himself into a hierarchical model of leadership in every social sphere of life. Thus, the idea of Arthur that the people of a lower social class who are used by those in the upper social class fight wars is profoundly correct to some extent (Trumbo 15).

The reason that would most likely motivate one to go for war is that it is concerned with one’s fundamental rights and freedom. According to Joe, democracy and freedom, which people often fight for, are only a preserve for the few in the society who really enjoy them on their full terms. As such, Joe seems to attest to the fact that when men die, they only think of their families, friends, and the wish to live longer rather than the abstract ideals created by the high-class people in society. Men and women, therefore, need to be offered a proper recompense for their fighting according to Joe (Trumbo 28).

Is war justice?

The idea that war presents a situation of the unequal bargain is reminiscent of the fact that in life there is no equality. The inequality is bred by the selfish tendencies of other people to wield everything for them by depriving others of their fundamental rights and freedom. As such, war can exact a natural way out of a problem that may be mistaken by others as justice. It is important to note, however, that war does not only involve the use of heavy weapons and artillery on the streets and bushes. Contemporary war is based on ideology and involves the use of sophisticated and innovative media in the attack of the perceived enemy. In cases where war involves weapons and artilleries, it is often justified for the good of the entire public than the few. It is true that there are horrific consequences of modern warfare, but it does not justify the failure to go to war in case a genuine need arises. The portrayal of modern medicine as a contributor to war tendencies is not right since over time doctors have done good in providing the necessary assistance to war victims and even saving lives (Trumbo 35).

A society that lives in peace with no incidences of war is one that is preferred by the majority of people. In the event that someone or some people decide to go rogue and interfere with the tranquility of the environment just because they are powerful, then it calls for war by the entire societies whose rights are being infringed. The existence of national and international concerns for peace behooves the application of war for the achievement of harmony. It is the responsibility of man to desire peace and co-existence by natural means if possible rather than by war. The loss of life or body parts in times of war is regrettable but unavoidable. It is pleasant to note that Joe eventually feels grateful for the work being done by doctors. This is an indication that he comes to terms with the fact that war victims often become vulnerable and can only be assisted by professionals like doctors in times of need. The realization that his arm has gone with the ring his girlfriend Kareen gave him and the wonders of how his arm will be disposed of adds to the mental disorder that is often felt by the post-war victims (Trumbo 73).

After war

The events that happen after war always expose war victims to be in precarious situations. For the military personnel who participated directly, often developmental disorders due to the memories of the events in the war fields. They often develop mental images of their thoughts and appear to see the events as they unfold as though they are in a practical situation. As such, it calls for a thorough medical evaluation of the mental and physical status of the post-war survivors. The boundary between the memory of war and the conscious practical state of a post-war victim becoming blurred is seen when Joe realized that the thought of war scenes was making him sick. As such, there is always a fight between sanity and dips in and outside consciousness for such victims. Post-war realities also tend to affect the relatives of the victims in many ways. The scenario provides people with an opportune time to meet their relatives at the time when they are required for support (Trumbo 106).

It awakens the sense of love and belonging in minds of relatives of the victims of war and the realities of war when they see their sons, and daughters who are either killed or injured in the war. It, therefore, encourages them to understand the value and respect for life. The unforeseeable bodily pain associated with injuries from war brings back old memories of pain and injuries suffered by war victims earlier in their lives. This represents the physical and emotional pain felt inside oneself, which cannot be communicated to others. “War is a necessary evil” so it is said but is it justifiable? by empathizing with Joe in his current state after the war, one realizes that war is a vice that should not be started unnecessarily as its aftermath leaves long-term ripple effects that are not reversible at whatever cost. The value of life must be upheld at whatever cost and no one individual should be allowed to take life from another. The predicaments that come with the loss of life or body parts can only be understood by empathizing with Joe’s case (Trumbo 145).

Money for war

All nations that have engaged themselves directly or indirectly have often incurred many losses than gains. Such losses occur not only in terms of money, but also in terms of personnel, equipment, and valuable and productive skills. A lot of money is used in the acquisition of war equipment, while most of the equipment is destroyed and rendered unworthy within a short span of time. Such colossal sums of money could be channeled into some socio-economic activities that would in turn uplift the living standards of the people. It destructs the economic activity of an environment leaving people poorer than they were before. Valuable enormous resources are used that would have been injected into the economy for the improvement of a common man’s living standards in terms of social service deliveries (Trumbo 203).

The demand for more money for funding, leads to the deterioration of living standards, as there will be an increase in taxation, increase in interest for capital, as well as a low rate of investment in the economy. War is a vice that exhibits a negative correlation with economic growth and welfare of the society in the short-run and even in the long run if not well properly planned, managed, and executed. The analogy of the rat in Joe’s case represents the few individuals profiting from war especially from the existence of the mentality of warfare rather than peace. As such, it is important to diligently explore all the options of resolving all disputes in a manner that does not involve war but embraces peaceful co-existence. The idea by Joe few individuals who profit from it may be true promote that war and sad indeed as he puts it that the loser is the one who dies in it like the Prussian soldier (Trumbo 234).

The argument by Joe that most men go to war without knowing exactly what they are fighting for holds some water. This is because according to Joe the calls for liberty, decency, and honor are just but a manner of brainwashing individuals to see war as a necessary evil. People tend not to know how already happy they are with the little freedoms they already have and think that they will be much happier after the war. Only to be met with sorrows and agony of the death of their loved ones after war. Joe wonders if America’s fight for liberty is for foisting America’s liberty and owner on the rest of the world. There needs to be something concrete to go for war and die for such as promoting unity around the world in an equal measure. These fights need to be done in the spheres of trade, environmental conservation, and resource allocation all across the world. The issue here is the ability of the world leaders to act on such ground without developing some sense of manipulation and betrayal (Trumbo 287)

Due to the continued scarcity of useful resources and the nature of man being a homoeconomicus creature, there are still going to be wars as powerful nations with colossal demand for scarce resources scramble for the scarce resources in the developing countries. This is not being pessimistic but rather realistic considering the emerging trends on the demand for products like oil, agricultural land, affordable labor, and energy.  The idea that “there is nothing noble about dying” and “ there is nothing cowardly about wanting to live” by Joe is true to most people and should be embraced by the entire human race in order to promote a pro-life approach to issues pertaining to war. People ought to come to terms with the fact that taking one’s life is not worth anything of value including their abstract ideas on religion, race, and class. This will enable us to gain a sense of purpose when dealing with matters of economic development (Trumbo 305).

However, it has been noted that Joe’s ideals of how life should be are quite consistent with those of republicans who are known to have caused numerous wars on the planet in recent history. As such, one wonders how these ideas would work for Joe as he echoes the democrats’ ideals of a peaceful society while embracing the republicans’ lifestyle. As such, it would be fair for him to embrace the full characteristics of the ideals of the political divide in which he is (Trumbo 332).

In conclusion, it is proper to say that no man under his normal senses would start a war without proper reason and good motive for his or her people. It is only due to the unforeseen attributes of war that makes it difficult to stop one’s start. The underlying cause for war in contemporary society is the need for scarce resources. As such, it calls upon the world agencies for the promotion of peace to come up with ideas and new ways through which limited resources can be shared for the benefit of all. The ability to create a peaceful society is yawning for every conscious individual like Joe for the betterment of our society and the world we live in.

Works cited

Trumbo, Dalton. Johnny Got His Gun. , 2013. Pp. 1-345 Retrieved from: