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Johnny Got His Gun Book Report Essay, Research Paper

Dalton Trumbo’s JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN is a controversial anti-war story of a soldier who lost his arms, his legs, and most of his face in a World War I from a shell. Trumbo’s soldier is Joe Bonham who comes from a patriotic background. The boy works in a bakery, supports his mother and sisters after his father’s death, he is in love with sweet Irish girl, and enlists in the army because it’s the thing a young man did for his country. He’s sent on a patrol into war grounds to bury a corpse that was stuck on barb wire in front of his trench. A bomb lands close to him, and he wakes up in a hospital.

The army is convinced he has severe damage to his cerebellum. They decide to keep him alive to learn from him. But he can think, and he figures that he is injured. He is a prisoner of his mind. Joe has flashbacks and fantasies driving him crazy. He exists in a living hell. He can’t distinguish between reality and his dreams. Joe has fantasies of his youth, his father, his best friend, his girlfriend, and Jesus Christ. Eventually he finds a way of communicating with a nurse through Morse Code. She informs the soldiers.

At the end of the movie Joe wants them to put him in a sideshow where, as a freak, he can make a living by making people see what happened to him in the war . If they won’t do that, he wants them to kill him. The army does not do either. The nurse tries killing him but does not succeed because a army officer walks in on her when she was in the middle of the act. The irony of it all was that a patriotic young man went off and was wounded for no great reason. His mind remains the only thing alive in his vegetable like body. He becomes a prisoner of his own mind who will live that way until he dies of natural causes or what ever comes first.


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