To some extent, this phrase certainly holds true for the novels Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, and Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. Both novels feature an eponymous hero on a journey, and both novels end with the resolution of many points of tension and conflict within the novel. However, for both novels the end is not so much an end in itself, but more like the beginning of yet another journey, the beginning of the end.
Before we proceed any further, we must first define what is meant by the word ending. The ending can be considered the final stage, the last resolution of something. In this case, it is a novel, and the ending of the story in a novel is conventionally found in its final or last chapters, one exception being the novel The God of Small Things, in which the novel ends somewhere in the middle of the story. In the case of Huck Finn and Siddhartha, the main area of focus (for the purposes of the essay) will be on the final chapters of both novels.
In Huckleberry Finn, the hero, Huck Finn, embarks on a journey of high adventure. The novel starts off with the introduction of the characters of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. The rest of the novel then takes place in episodes, starting with Huck faking his death and meeting the runaway slave Jim with whom he embarks on his journey down the river with, the feud between the two families, the King and the Duke, and finally ending with the Phelps Farm incident.
The final episode, the Phelps Farm incident, is where the resolution of the novel’s main point of tension is resolved. The black slave Jim is finally made a free man, having been “set free in her [Miss Watson’s] will” after travelling down the Mississippi in search of freedom. This fact is discovered only after much action and adventure on the part of Huck and Tom, who go to great lengths to free him from the cabin he was held in.
The appearance of Tom and also the mood in the last few chapters of the novel are reminiscent of the first few chapters. In a sense, the novel begins with Tom Sawyer, and ends with Tom Sawyer. At the start of the novel and at the end of the novel, the mood reverts back to one of triviality, with the two boys scheming and planning a grandiose romantic scheme.
At the start of the novel they plan to start a “band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer’s gang”, complete with oaths to be sworn, people to be killed and to be taken hostage. By the end of the novel, their plan to save Jim includes them having to “steal candles, and…sheet[s], and…shirt[s]…no end of things” to make “nonnamous letters from the robbers…the rope ladder” among other things. The difference between the start and the end of the novel is, by the end of the novel, Huck and Tom actually manage to execute their romanticised plans. However, it is revealed in the second last chapter of the novel that Jim was already a free man, thus rendering all their previous efforts frivolous and ultimately unnecessary.
Another point of tension that is resolved is the conflict between Huck and Pap, his father. Throughout the novel Pap remains an invisible figure of sorts, his shadow constantly haunting Huck, with Huck worrying that all his money has been taken away by his drunk, abusive father. However, we discover through Jim that Pap is already dead and his was the body that Jim “unkivered” in the house that they found floating by earlier in the novel.
As we can see, the ending of Huck Finn manages to provide conclusions for important plot points in the story. Also, the similarities between the start and the end help to highlight differences in Huck’s personality and show that Huck has matured along his journey. At the beginning of the novel, when he listens to Tom lay out his plans, Huck willingly follows them with little or no questioning. However, by the end of the novel where Tom similarly lays out his schemes, Huck this time questions Tom’s strategies and follows a proper chain of logic and reasoning. This is evidence of Huck’s maturity that he has gained along his journey with Jim.
The similarities between the start and end of the novel may signify that events have come full circle but they also signify the restarting of events. The novel takes on a cyclic nature at the end of the novel, reintroducing characters like Tom Sawyer and re-capturing the mood of the first few chapters. This may signal a restart of the sequence of events all over again, with the presence of Tom Sawyer and the frivolous mood of the novel acting as a sort of marker. The final lines “Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before” seems to herald the re-beginning of events, with Huck running away yet again to go off on his own journey.
Also, the final line of the novel “The End. Yours Truly, Huck Finn.” Has an air of finality to it, but is still somewhat inconclusive. It has a personal and sincere tone “yours truly” but one wonders if this is really “The End” for Huckleberry Finn. These final lines, as well as the final episode in the novel, certainly show a rounding off of certain elements in the novel, but also an opening out of a possible new adventure. In relation to the start and the rest of the novel, the ending is not so much an ending, but rather, the beginning of the rest of Huck’s adventures.
In Siddhartha, the statement, “Not rounding off, but opening out.”, also rings true. The final chapter in the novel embodies this statement. In this chapter, the main driving plot point of the entire novel is resolved; we finally discover that Siddhartha has indeed attained enlightenment. We discover through Govinda’s description of Siddhartha’s smile, “This, Govinda knew, was how the Perfect Ones smiled.” Siddhartha is smiling “just as he had smiled, the Sublime One.” From this we can deduce that Siddhartha has finally managed to attain enlightenment after so long a quest, and the major point of tension is finally resolved in the final chapter of the novel.
However, while the main focus of the novel has been resolved, another is far from being concluded; Govinda’s quest for enlightenment is far from over. Similarly to Huck Finn, Siddhartha also ends with the reappearance of a supporting character, Govinda. From the very beginning, Siddhartha’s has been accompanied by Govinda, and at the very end, Govinda is with Siddhartha again. The novel, like Huck Finn, also takes on a cyclic nature.
It should also be noted that the final chapter is titled Govinda. Much like the novel is called Siddhartha, and chronicles Siddhartha’s search for enlightenment, so does the chapter Govinda now focus on Govinda’s continued search for enlightenment. The novel has shifted focus, its main character has already attained enlightenment, and now it is time for Siddhartha’s faithful friend to undertake this journey as well. Govinda’s search for enlightenment, and failure to attain it, is embodied in the lines “Sorrow and eternal seeking were written in his gaze, eternal failure to find”.
However, the line that follows seems to give hope, “Siddhartha saw it and smiled.” Siddhartha seems to aid Govinda in his search for enlightenment. When Govinda kisses Siddhartha’s forehead at the latter’s request, he is offered a glimpse into what enlightenment, nirvana, is like. The novel ends with the inconclusive line “…whose smile reminded him of everything that he had ever loved in his life, that had ever been valuable and holy to him in his life.” The novel ends here, and we are left unaware of what becomes of Siddhartha, and more importantly, Govinda; we will never know if he attains enlightenment like Siddhartha has.
The inconclusiveness of the novel’s conclusion manages to embody the statement; the novel certainly rounds off (we discover that Siddhartha has indeed attained enlightenment), but at the same time, the novel opens up new possibilities, this time for the character of Govinda. In relation to the rest of the novel, the end is merely a new beginning; in Siddhartha, the end of Siddhartha’s journey serves as the beginning of Govinda’s.
In both novels, we can see that the statement “Not rounding off, but opening out” holds true to certain extent, a certain extent because the novels DO round off, but they also open out. The pattern of the story structure in Huck Finn, where the end is similar to the beginning, and the indefiniteness of the ending of Siddhartha, opens up new paths for the characters. The endings of the two novels have opened up new roads, new destinations, new journeys, new adventures, new quests, new trials.
General Haig: Butcher Or War Winner?
The purpose of this analysis is to compare sources 1 to 7 and determine if they present any evidence suggesting that General Haig did not prioritize the well-being of his soldiers. To accomplish this, I will first address the overall question and then proceed to examine each source individually. During this examination, I will assess their strengths, weaknesses, reliability, and take into account factors such as authorship, date of creation, and intended purpose (including potential entertainment value).
In my view, the seven sources given do not offer enough proof to back up the assertion that Haig neglected the welfare of his soldiers. Source 1 exhibits a photo of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, adorned with military honors indicating his knighthood and past military service. While this image may not be directly relevant to the current query, it does provide some understanding by verifying Haig’s involvement in previous wars through the presence of military honors.
This photograph is valuable because it demonstrates the individual’s experience and success in ascending the British ranks, implying their proficiency as a soldier and leader. However, it does not provide any insights into Field Marshal Haig’s treatment of his troops. The photograph is unlikely to be biased as it merely captures his attire and the medals he earned. Source 2 emphasizes the need to educate the nation on accepting casualties.
Haig wrote on June 30, 1916, the day before the Battle of the Somme began, that no amount of skill from higher commanders, no matter how good the training of officers and men, and no matter how great the superiority of arms and ammunition, will lead to victories without sacrificing men’s lives. The nation must be prepared to see heavy casualty lists as losses must be borne and accepted.
The text suggests that when we first hear about Field Marshal Haig, our initial impression may be that he lacked concern for his soldiers. However, he later provides an explanation for why casualties are inevitable in war. It is noted that the source may have a biased perspective, as it would be unusual for Haig to present himself as a ruthless butcher. Source 3 highlights that the soldiers’ morale is high, with many acknowledging that they have never received such comprehensive training and briefing on the upcoming mission.
The cutting of the barbed wire has never been as flawless, and the artillery preparation has never been so meticulous. All the commanders are filled with unwavering confidence. However, those of us who are familiar with the realities of war know that this is far from the truth. This piece of writing is heavily biased and, as one can guess, it was penned by Field Marshal Haig following the initial day of the Somme in June 1916.
Another passage from a soldier who experienced the Somme further emphasizes the aspect of comparison. It states, ‘In numerous areas, the wire remained intact. The artillery did not succeed. Countless lives would be sacrificed as the soldiers were unable to penetrate the barbed wire without cutters. Meanwhile, in other locations, the Germans focused all their firepower on the areas where the wire had been cut, fully aware that the British forces would have to emerge through those passages.’
‘Depending on who you believe, one perspective portrays Haig as a war winner while the other portrays him as a butcher. It should be noted that this extract may also exhibit bias, albeit in the opposite direction, as the author is likely to harbor resentment towards the commanding officers and the war itself. Source 4 is widely considered a reliable source; however, I believe it still carries potential bias due to the soldiers’ inherent resentment towards the commanders. Additionally, this account was written years after the battle and under the influence of war-related conditions such as shell shock, which may have caused factual inaccuracies.’
Many dead bodies were hung on the barbed wire, resembling wreckage deposited at a high flooded area. The number of deaths on the enemy wire was almost equal to those on the ground. It was evident that there were no gaps in the wire during the attack, indicating that the Germans had been strengthening it for months.
It was so thick that daylight could barely be seen through it. The planners did not consider how Tommies would navigate through the wire or the fact that artillery fire would not destroy it completely. Any Tommy could have informed them that shell fire actually lifts and drops the wire, often leading to a more tangled mess. ‘Source 5, written by Gerard De Groot, is considered one of the most reliable sources since he authored the biography on Haig. This source is reliable as it is based on extensive research and attempts to present an unbiased viewpoint.
According to an extract from the book, Haig’s living conditions and food were comfortable while his men lived in muddy trenches and shared their rations with rats. It seems that Haig was unaffected by the stark contrast between his own comfort and that of his men. This source suggests that Haig lacked concern for his troops, as there is no indication in the extract that he did care. Source 6 is a still from the recent BBC TV series ‘Blackadder goes Forth’.
Across six episodes, Captain Blackadder and Private Baldrick skillfully evade going over the top, while their comrade Lieutenant George enthusiastically embraces the concept. This observation implies that Haig, their leader, showed minimal regard for his soldiers. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize that the episode was meant as a comedic piece. If it failed to elicit laughter, its credibility would be questionable. Nonetheless, we should still acknowledge that the series’ creators likely strived to portray the truth as accurately as possible.
The final source, source 7, is an article from Punch Magazine in 1917. It is a fictional piece intended to entertain readers but also serves the purpose of revealing the truth about war through cartoons to the British public who were unaware of its true horrors. Therefore, we can regard it as a reliable source. Although it does not directly mention Haig, it does demonstrate that Generals in general disregarded the welfare of their soldiers.
While the lack of sources prevents me from definitively stating whether General Haig was indifferent to his men’s well-being, based on my contextual knowledge, I believe that Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig did value his men. However, he unfortunately failed to take appropriate actions. It is important to acknowledge that during the Battle of the Somme, he made positive contributions that are often overlooked in favor of focusing solely on the high casualty count. This has led to him being labeled as the Butcher of the Somme without recognition for his concern for his troops—a viewpoint I strongly disagree with. My aim is to provide an enjoyable reading experience by acknowledging different perspectives on war and the battles themselves.
Why Did Anti-Semitism Develop Between 1900 And 1941?
Anti-Semitism has been around since Jesus’ time.
When Christianity was formed, most Jews refused to become Christians. The early Christians believed, therefore, that when the Jews rejected Jesus, they were, in fact, rejecting God. From this, the early Christians hated the Jews.One of the reasons they came up with was that they believed that the Jews sacrificed their children to Satan.
This was said by St. John Chrysostom (c. 345-407 AD). Another belief was that they thought that a synagogue was a meeting place for the assassins of Christ and that it was a curse.
St. Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-74 AD) said:”It would be right to keep Jews, because of their crime, in slavery. Princes may take away everything owned by the Jews.
“Jews were also blamed for natural disasters, for poisoning wells and drinking the blood of Christian children. Martin Luther wrote a book called “Of Jews and Their Lies”. He said:”First, their synagogues should be set on fire. Secondly, their homes should be broken down.
Thirdly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach anyone.”However, none of the sources actually say what the Jews had done to deserve such hatred. And it wasn’t just the odd person; most people in the same country would have felt this way. Here is a list of the important countries in World War 2, and their views on Jewish people, just before the war.
In Britain, Anti-Semitism was not that deeply-rooted compared to other countries; there had not been a large amount of Jews in Britain until the 1870s. Jewish people were believed to work for little money, which forced English workers to have fewer wages. Jews were also made to pay higher rents, as well, which put up the prices on everyone else’s rent. One of the possible underlying reasons of the Aliens Act of 1905 may have been anti-Semitism, which then reduced the Jewish immigration by 40%.
However, there is really no evidence that there was any specifically anti-Semitic hatred in Britain at that time.On the other hand, though, small fascist groups formed in the early 1920s, some with openly anti-Semitic views, but support was small. After 1933, British people fed a lot of sympathy for the German Jews, but this was not recognised by the government, which still did not allow mass immigration to Britain, it’s colonies, or to Palestine, where they had previously supported the “Jewish Homeland” – this was called the “Balfour Declaration”. By 1939, there were 30,000 Jews living in Britain.
France was much different from Britain, and their situation was a great deal worse. There were 800,000 Jews living in France, compared to the 30,000 that Britain had. As there were a greater number of them, they had a higher profile than most people, which led to more dislike. Up to 1939, 16 Jews were government ministers, but despite 9,600 Jews dying for France in World War 1, prejudice continued.
Fascist groups were stronger in France, than Britain, and when the war came, many Frenchmen admired Hitler’s message, and longed to join the Germans, instead of fight against them.The most famous example of French anti-Semitism, up to 1939, was the “Dreyfus Case” of 1894. Captain Dreyfus, a French army officer, was put on trial accused for selling military secrets to the Germans. In the book “J’Accuse!”, written by Emile Zola, which exposed the unfairness of Dreyfus’ trial and that it was clear that his “jewishness” was on trial and the charges were lies.
Italy was a lot like Britain, in which it did not have a tradition of hatred towards the Jews, and it’s Jewish population was only about 60,000. Although Italy had a Fascist government, Mussolini himself was not anti-Semitic. He didn’t think they were infecting Italian racial purity, so they weren’t treated any different than any other group at that time. Nevertheless, when Italy joined Hitler in 1936, Mussolini began to pass anti-Jewish measures, due to pressure from Hitler.
But these weren’t popular, unlike Germany. Several numbers of Italians were prepared to help the Jews, and it was only after 1943, when Hitler put Italy under direct German rule, that Italian Jews began to be sent to death-camps in Poland.Germany, on the other hand, was a lot different that Britain, France and Italy. For over a thousand years, there had been a Jewish community in Germany, and there were over 500,000 living there in 1933, yet they still faced prejudice and hatred.
And this was strengthened by Germany’s defeat in World War 1. Even though 12,000 German Jews died in it, they were a convenient scapegoat to blame. Jews were also associated with the overthrow of the Kaiser, the German surrender, the Communist attempt to seize power in 1919, the economic chaos and the new democracy. Jews in this new democracy where particularly hated, and many were assassinated in the early 1920s, such as Walther Rathenau (1922) and Matthias Erzberger, who had signed the Armistice.
After the 1929 economic collapse, Hitler’s Brownshirts turned German cities into battle grounds in their struggle against the Communists, especially Jews. Once Hitler came to power, all of his party’s hatred could be expressed in anti-Jewish laws, and he had the support of the law on his side. Thousands of Jews were sent to concentration camps, and Jews everywhere were harassed. German propaganda emphasised that Jews were a threat to Germany, and laws banned Jews from most proffesions and from marrying an Aryan – “a perfect race”.
Around half of the Jews left, most leaving everything behind, and virtually all who stayed were put into ghettoes during the war, and then eventually into death camps.Before Hitler became ruler of Germany, Russia was the worst anti-Semitic country in Europe. Jews were hated and despised by all classes, from peasants to aristocracy and the government. For centuries, they had been forced to live in ghettos and not allowed to do most jobs, or travel freely.
They would sometimes be attacked by the Cossacks – the Tsar’s “Police Force” or “Pogroms”. Pogrom in from the Russian word “Pogromit”, meaning to attack, and they were extremely violent, causing destruction of property and loss of life. Millions of Jews emigrated if they could; over 2 million went to the USA alone.However, there were many revolutionary groups against the Tsar’s rule.
Many Jews were prominent in these groups, but this just gave Jew haters another reason to hate them.After the Revolution in 1917, many Jews thought life would improve, due to the Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia (which gave equal rights to all minorities). They no longer had to live in ghettos, but they did so in peril, because attitudes of hundreds of years could not be broken down easily. In 1928, the Soviet government set up a Jewish homeland in Birobidjan (near China), but due to the region being marsh and remote, the plan failed.
Thousands of Jews wanted to leave for Palestine, but were seen as wishing to abandon the Socialist experiment in favour of capitalist society. Thousands of Jews (like every other group in Russia) suffered from the mass terror of Stalin’s reign in the late 1930’s.Each country I have discussed has had different views on Jewish people, some more different than others. France, Britain and Italy didn’t have strong hatred of the Jews, although some individuals did.
Germany and Russia, on the other hand, did have strong hatred for the Jews, and showed it.The Christian view has changed in some countries, but not in others. Places like Russia and Germany, where there were a lot of Jews, there was a lot of hatred towards them, but places like Britain and Italy, there weren’t a lot of Jews, so their view would have changed because they don’t know much about them.