This week’s discussion centers mostly around our novel, Fear, with the last question asking you to also think back to what we learned last week. Again, you can feel free to respond to more than one prompt, but do make sure to respond to at least one in full
1. First published in France in 1930, Chevallier’s Fear was at first received with a considerable amount of outrage and even suppressed during the Second World War as an anti-war novel. Why do you think this was so? Is there a particular scene in the book that stands out to you as potentially controversial? Do you agree with the decision to suppress this book during the Second World War? Why or why not?
2. Does the book justify its one-word title, Fear? Consider, for example, chapter 5, “The Parapet.” What kinds of fear does the narrator experience? What other emotions, in addition to fear, does he describe? What is about Chevallier’s writing that makes his account of combat in WWI so visceral, and unforgettable?
3. What is one scene from Fear that particularly stood out to you? Why does it stand out to you? Does this scene change how you think about the First World War?
4. In chapter 4, Michael Howard describes several ways in which the Allies adjusted in 1915 to trench warfare and learned how to be more competitive in it. What are some of these adjustments? Based on what we’ve learned about the first year of the war, what do you consider to be the most important of these adjustments and why?
REQUIRED BOOKS: double check questions for which books to use!
Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of AugustMichael Howard,
The First World WarGabriel Chevallier,
Fear: A Novel of World War I
Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth
Cecil Lewis, Sagittarius Rising
Louis Barthas, Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker 1914-1918
Robert Graves, Good-bye to All That
Ernst Jünger, Storm of Steel