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Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:01 pm
In chapter eleven, the priest says to Henry, "You do not see it." He also says, "I do not see it myself but I feel it a little" (65).

Perhaps it is not possible to ever know exactly what "it" <i>is</i>. Nonetheless, in your own mind what do you think the priest is referring to when he says "it?" Be sure to use evidence from the text.
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Response Given by Jack Shi

on Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:56 pm
In my opinion, those two "it"s that are mentioned by the priest denote the essence and the intrinsic value of the war. According to the context, they initially start several conversations which express their attitudes towards the war. In the last two lines of page 64, we can tell that the "it" in the sentence "I don't enjot it" emerges for the first time. Thus, the priest's words in the first line and the fourth line of page 65 follow the sentence given by Henry. That is to say, those 'it's given by the priest have the same implication.

However, personally, the "it"s given by Henry and the priest are different. Henry may take his "it" as the word itself,for he is the direct participant of the war and he is severely wounded. While for the priest, his "it"s may have a more profound definition, according to his occupation and values. They can be the inherent significance of the war, which is beyond the war itself.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:20 pm
"It" can be considered as the moral corruption among people during the war. The priest "hate the war" and "feel very low" when he talked with Henry about "it". So it can be inferred that the priest's idea is generated from bitter feelings he has in the war time. The psychological change cannot be seen but felt. He might be unawared about this feeling in the mess when these officers make fun of him as he still smiles to them and responses to these insulting words with politeness. These officers, probably not believers, are making fun of the priest on his celibacy with unbearable words. This can cause the priest who was "young and blushed easily" to waver in his faith in the god he loved "since I was a little boy". With so many people around him not caring about their behaviour as a believer do, he might be confused about what to do with his job to disseminate his religion. Henry as an officer is probably accustomed to the other officers, so he cannot see it.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:31 pm
'It' is referred to loss of civilization and the gradual exposure of savagery in the nature of human being. When the priest said these words, he has witnessed colossal number of corpse of soldiers, with missing body parts, blood all over. Though he didn't see the process of the whole on-going battle, he could tell that the war is robbing of human's original will to live by rules, act peacefully and follow moral commands. Instead, the blood and dirt on the battlefield arouses the hidden barbarian human instinct of violence, chaos and gratification to one’s immediate desires. This young priest, even not familiar with the complication of the world, is astonished by the cruelty and loss of order during the war. Just like what he said, 'I do not see myself but I can feel it a little.' He didn't see the process of the war, but he can feel the implication for the loss of civilization.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:03 pm
I think the “it” differs from the priest and Henry. Although both of them hated the war, Henry hated the war just because he didn’t want to die and didn’t want to fight any more. For the priest, however, he hated the war because he had seen something the officers didn’t see behind the frontier that made him sick. For Henry, “it” might the war itself, it is just a pronoun for the world “war”. He was at the front and was wounded, so he thought he was supposed to be the one who know the war best. That’s why I said, “I don’t enjoy it.” He thought it was the war itself being endless which made the priest felt sick. That’s why the priest said, “You do not mind it. You do not see it.” The priest had a different definition for “it”. “it” was not just the war itself, in my opinion, it means the impact on those people who also involved in the war but didn’t fight in the frontier like the priest and Ms. Barkley. They had a different feeling from the soldiers on the frontier. Officers would never understand their feelings because the war only made the officers try to survive in the war. The priest didn’t go to the frontier, so he didn’t see the scenes Henry saw, but he can feel from the people around him, something similar but slightly different, that is why he said,“I do not seen it myself but I feel it a little.” He didn’t see people die on the frontier, but he can feel the depression around him which is caused by the war. In conclusion, the word “it” might mean different to the priest from Henry’s understanding.

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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:09 pm
In my opinion, the “it” Henry talked about is simply the war. The war restricted his freedom and his bright future so that he didn’t “enjoy it”. However, for the priest, I think “it” refers to more profound and complicated things. First, “it” may be the cause, relation or process of the war. Henry, as an ambulance driver, stayed almost at the verge of war so that didn’t know how it worked, why it happened. While the priest may be clearer about the underlying things of the war. In addition, “it” maybe the emotion of the priest. Because of his occupation like purifying people’s souls and leading them to the right way, the priest didn’t want to see people suffering from pain, losing their homes, or showing the evil aspect of humanity. He felt pitiful and painful about the war and “hated the war”. Last, “it” maybe the severity of the war. As an ambulance driver, Henry may only see the wound. While as a priest, he maybe more sensitive to the severity of the war.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:10 pm
This is the conversation between a soldier and an officer. They played different roles in the war. For the soldier Henry, even though his duty was not to kill, he was still in the front and witnessed what the war was truly like. The soldiers fight and get wounded and die, through their first-perspective experience they saw the war, its crulty and craziness. For the officers, "'Some are very delicate and feel worse than any of us.'" They were in the back of the battle, they did not have blood on their hands. But some of them might have began to realize they weight their command were carrying, what he said decides the lives of others. For the "It", Henry referred to how the war damaged their body and mind. For the officers, especially ones with concious like the priest, they felt more responsible and therefore more pressure and guilt. They must lead the war in order to win, but that couldn't make them totally irrelevent from their soldier's death and this dilemma was the "it" they had in mind.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:05 pm
The "it" seems to appear suddenly during the conversation, but actually it is strongly connected with the situation of the moment, not only for the priest but also for anyone who suffered from the bloody war. "It" refers to the war, the killing, the blood, the ugly sides of men's personality of course, but also the unsatisfied, unfair role of the people like the priest witch being mocked just because their faithful believes, just because their job's not related to the war or their believes are that everybody should stay with each other peacefully, at least for the god. The priest said that he did not see it but he felt it. That's because it's really hard to find out the true meaning of a war especially for the people who are disturbed by it. What the priest could feel is that he does not like the war, and he wants the war to end, for many reasons, or just a kind of feeling. Nobody can "see" it because nobody was able to declare that the war should be ended for the meaningless attacks and deaths, even they could fell it is right to do so. That was a time the world is in chaos and people are inwardly disturbed, but they had no power to make a change, they had to accept it. The only thing they could do was to "feel it".
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Thu May 10, 2018 5:08 pm
It refers to:
1. The war
It seems that everyone in this war (except those who made the war) did not care about the war, as they were forced to go to the war, forced to fight the war and forced to bet their life in this war. So they did not mind or see the war, all they cared was their life.
2. The collective will
Reflecting from latter chapters, soldiers participated in this war either because of fear or because of pursuit for individual benefit. For fear, they feared their loss of war would lead to the invasion of enemy, who would come and take their property, harm their family, and make them live a miserable life. For benefit, they wanted to pursue career such as captain in order to get more money and reputation; they wanted pursue own glory and honor in this war……Seeing only their own benefit, they did not mind or care about the collective will of nation.
3. Ending the war
The war, lasting for years with bombs and bloods, was a desperate one. Henry wondered if ending the war is a hopeless effort; the priest assured him that it is not, but admitted that he, too, has trouble hoping. They were trapped in this war and did not see the future coming.
4. Love and God
Other officers often teased the priest with his faith in God. They did not mind the existence of God. Henry could not say that he loves God, but he did admit to fearing Him sometimes. The priest assured Henry that he had a capacity to love and he would be called upon to love truly. Henry remained skeptical, and he did not mind or see it.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Thu May 10, 2018 7:21 pm
In my opinions, “it” has different meanings for different people.

For Henry, “it” refers to the war itself. He knew the priest was talking about the war with him. But he could only think about the scene of the fight, dying man on the ground and the soldiers fighting in the battle. From the dialogue, Henry didn’t discuss with the priest in a deeper perspective, instead, he seemed to answer or ask something irrelevant with what the priest was talking about. It reflected the unconsciousness of him to the war. He didn’t care about the war and the fight between people, what he cares about is himself and people he cares. He only cares about the life after war and he is only worried about the safety.

For the priest, it refers to
1. the greed of humans
The war itself is a reflection of human’s greed. Everyone in the war hopes to gain something through the war, they are looking forward to the victory of the war in which they could gain more power, money and something don’t belong to them before the war. If the greed is the reason for a war, then the priest means that he saw the cause of this war. And this cause is originated from the evil side of human beings which makes him to feel lamentable.
2. the retrogression of civilization
The priest means that people living in chaos don’t feel that chaos and how horrible it would be. He said that Henry didn’t mind it and he didn’t see the retrogression of civilization. The priest noticed that many people in the war didn’t have their contemplations on the war and they didn’t mind it. They didn’t mind how many people died, wounded or who made these. This was a trait of retrogression of civilization for the priest. And more miserable, he could do nothing but to see it to be worse.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Sun May 13, 2018 3:34 pm
in my opinion, "it" refers to different meaning to Henry and the priest. For Henry, it is the endless war, even people feel tired, they still have to work, to fight for something not related to soldiers or people involved in the war. He hoped to end the war, the willing of relaxing days. For the priest, I agree with Hetty, it is the moral corruption, the priest was teased by the mad soldiers, and did not have the respect he deserved. and he hoped to see the flash of humanity on people even during the time of war. But he failed, he was disappointed and humiliated. at the moment the priest says these words, he definitely feels bad.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Mon May 14, 2018 9:58 am
From my point of view, those two "it"s mentioned by the priest refer to the pains brought by the war. These pains not only mean the sorrow of the bodies but more represent the pain inside human's body, the emotional distress. Because of the outbreak of the war, millions of people have suffered the pain of losing home, losing friends and losing their closest relatives. The feeling of sorrow spread throughout the continent. The pains caused by the war thus not only lies on a small group of people but instead has an impact on a much wider range. In the book, the priest said to the soldier that although he experienced the war and had been wounded in the war, he still didn't feel it. This actually implies that there is a connection between being wounded and feeling it, otherwise the priest wouldn't say that. And in my opinion, what the priest means is that the soldier only feels the pain of his body caused by the wound but fails to feel the pain of his inner heart. By say his words, he expresses his animosity of the war and also shows his intense desire to end the war. Only when the war is end will these pains caused by the war disappear forever.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Fri May 18, 2018 8:25 pm

For a priest, for a man who have faith in god, who devotes his life into washing away people’s sins and confession, is here, at war. Millions of soldiers get hurt, wounded everyday, he felt his job has failed without any chances to change anything. For me, I think it refers to the reality. Because all the people are fighting their own war, not only with guns. Nobody knows how the wives were suffering from this war, nobody knows what will it be from a child’s perspective. No one has an overall view of this war. The part they see and experience is only a small part. As the priest meets all kinds of people, witness many deaths, the sorrow and helplessness cannot be expressed. For him, he might think the reason why he is here, who needs him, what he can do. And the answer is replace by more and more bombards and gunshots, left him wandering at the starting point.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Sun May 20, 2018 11:03 am
"It" represents a change of attitude the people has towards the war. War has not only changed the country, the landscape, but also the people. War has already been raging on for months, many souls have left, many families have mourned. Everyone no longer has the wish to quickly defeat the Austrians and claim victory. Soldiers no longer have the hopes for a quick intrusion. Now, seeing their homeland in rumbles, everything they've loved in ashes, the only wish that remains is to put an end to this misery. People of Italy now only wants conclude this war. Thus "it" represents the change of attitude, the loss of moral among the people. Henry can't see it because he is hospitalized, the priest, however is living with the soldiers, a battlefield away from their opponents. That why he could "not see it but feel it a little".
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Tue May 29, 2018 6:33 pm
In my opinion, 'it' refers to the disappointing chaos as a result of fierce battle covered by bleeding or bullets. If the hypothesis of the good human nature is established, then the actual behavior of the human beings that time has deviated a lot from the moral standard. Soldiers, who are at least human beings themselves, started killing others even though they may haven't met each others before without hesitation. There is an interesting guess that if the war hadn't occur, the people who the kill with great anger on the battlefield could be their best friend. They may have a drink in a nearby bar on a comfortable Sunday afternoon, talking about the anecdotes of the newborn child. But, due to the nasty war, the bright future they could have had were buried just because of the successful brainwashing brought by the war that entitled a person with the awkward right to kill ,and we actually entitled it 'patriotism'.
The priest was not a soldier himself so he didn't feel the physical wound. But as a priest, a symbol of kindness and purity, he cannot tolerate the twist of good human nature.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:21 pm
Actually “it” which the priest mentioned for several times could be referring to two things at the same time. The first meaning could be the battlefield scenes. For Henry was wounded and the priest didn’t need to really go onto the battlefield, both of them didn’t see what was going on with the battlefield. Although World War I had a lower number of deaths comparing with World War II, it seemed to be more horrifying than World War II. The reason can be explained in this way that World War I is a war between human itself and machines, but World War II can be seen as a war among machines and those technology. The priest tried to explain those scary scenes in the recent battles. After that they talk about those officers who did not go onto the battlefield with kind of a critical tone. That can actually be another piece of evidence.
The second point is that “it” may refer to the fact of the war as those drivers were talking about in chapter 9. No one can actually see that how the war started also those officers like Henry may not actually mind that. So it’s reasonable that the priest says that you don’t mind it; you don’t see it; I don’t see it but I can feel it. The evidence can also be learnt from those talks about the officers that do not attend the warfare also those governors who decided to fight.
Both of these thought expressed the hate and dislike to the war, showing that people are getting tired of the war.
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Re: Chapter Eleven-“it”

on Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:51 pm
From my perspective, “it” has the same part of meaning to Henry and the priest, which is the war, however, for the priest, “it” means deeper and those deeper meanings also come from the war, they are the ugly sides of human nature such as the greed and cruelty, the laugh from others because of his believing in god and the their blasphemy to god.
Being a direct participant towards the war, Henry must feel tired and even exhausted, but he still had to fight, fight for the things that not belonged to himself or anyone who took part in the war. He couldn’t get any benefit, either in physical or mental. What he wanted was the imaginations he had which might only existed after the war in chapter seven. For the priest who didn’t participate in the war directly, he could only feel a little bit. The most direct unsatisfying feelings were coming from the laugh from other soldiers during the war time which reflected their extreme disrespect to him and to god. The priest could put this due to the persistence of war because it was the war that brought out the worst in human nature and forced them to become the ones who didn’t have faith, love, and kindness. He failed to do what he wanted, to call these back so that he was disappointed and depressed.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:37 pm
Though "it" indicates the war. "it" might simply mean the bloody frontier and piles of corpse there, these were what he saw and experienced: prolonged warfare, devastated instructions and people of vicissitudes, might be added by some sense of fear, violence. However, as for the priest, he was "tired" instead of "indignant" according to Henry's words. I guess that was because he saw the degeneration of the civilization and humanity and "feel it a little" though he might had never saw the virtual scene which also represented as "it" through his physical eyes. Compared to the shock Henry received, the priest felt more like remorse or guilty for those who were influenced and wanted to do something to rescue those "souls" physically and spiritually, maybe that was why he treated Henry so well.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:15 pm
From my perspective, “it” refers to different things for different people. I got this idea because when Henry says, “I don’t enjoy it,” , the priest shook his head and looked out of the window, which indicated that he disagreed with Henry’s expression.
For Henry, “it” is simply the rotten war. Everyone in the war was tired and did not care much about it. That is, they were forced to enter the war. Thus, he also got tired of this war and wanted it to end as quickly as it could.
For the priest, “it” refers to people’s morality. War was driving people crazy. He felt very low and disgusted about the war. He also felt disappointed not only because he was teased and made fun of but also the helplessness of people’s unconsciousness
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:25 pm
For Henry, as a person who believed to have already seen a lot of the bloody scene on the war field, who himself was brutally injured in the war, referred to the 'goddamn war' by saying it. He didn't bother and didn't need to hide his sickness of the war, and he wished it could be over. However the priest, as a religious person and a very pious one, was impacted more powerfully by the savagery of the war, after seeing all those dead bodies and just walk across the war zone and feel nothing but death and despair. And because of the intrinsic nature of his job as a priest, he was devastated deeply by the savagery of the war, and he felt blamable for not rescuing the souls he could have been rescuing.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:32 pm
For Henry, he is a direct participant of the war as he experience the cruelty and horribleness of the war. 'It' means war itself and the danger and power of it. He was deeply hurt by war and hated it. But for the priest, it refers to something more complex. As a witness of the war, he felt the power of war through his eyes, it ruined the body and will of soldier. What's more the people and the whole country are in a situation of chaos. The civil and moral of people are challenged and destroyed. Henry would't felt it as a participant but the priest saw it through his eyes.
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Re: it

on Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:30 pm
In my opinion, ‘it’ refers to horror of the war. The priest is a knowledgeable person, he has learnt something about the god so he must know a little bit more about humanity than other normal people. So the priest has foreseen the terrible results of the war : deaths and casualty increase, bodies all over the heath, bones covered the land and forests turned into deserts. People’s faith corrupts, moral collapses. In the gigantic universe, law of disorder and chaos and nonsense are just normal breath of the galaxy - unreasonable things happened everyday in universe though humans don’t know. For some reasons, humans are unfit to know the truth of chaos and disorder and nonsense because they will easily lose their faith in life and want to suicide, I suppose. Because that law is something higher and powerful than human beings that humans cannot resist. Just like the war. The war is a representative of the law. The war is chaotic, disordered and totally nonsense. War itself seemed to be started by men and was anticipated to be ended by men. But the war never truly ended, at least cannot be ended by humans. Why? Because the war is actually not started by humans, it is started by some abstruse power, that power may not come from the nature, it is a grand power that probably come from higher civilized aliens, or something we called “the gods”. Humans are just too weak to get the knowledge. The priest is special, he gets the knowledge because he learns things about “gods”, but he only knows little because he is one of the normal weak humans. And also the priest don’ t indeed participate in battles to fight the enemies like Henry. So the priest see ‘it’ - he sees the horror of the war and the truth that normal humans cannot understand and better not understand. That’s why he only feels a little based on his previous knowledge but cannot see it because he isn;t really present in the battlefield to see the disaster of humanity.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:33 am
I think it here refers to the value of.huamn getting destroyed by the war. Henery was a participant in the war and all he and other soldiers knew was only about protecting themselves and killing the enemies. They did see killing but they were focused on the war itself. However, as a viewer, the priest knew there had been huge mass of killing all the time. He expressed the brutality of the war and he was more delicate than the soldiers. The priest saw the soldiers getting hurt or die and people's life seemed to be nonsense under the artillery and guns. From the priest's idea, those young boy should enjoy their lives and work for a better future instead of suffering from wounds and bullets. He realizes the value of human was destroyed in the war while Henery only noticed his wound.
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on Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:55 am
Even though the priest and Henry were sharing the same conversation, the two “it” they referred to are different. As an ambulance driver, he is just a helper rather than an actual participant of the war. So ‘it’ in Henry’s words is just the war. But to the priest, he is the leader, he knows about the war’s real situation and it has something to do with his decisions. So the “it” that the priest means is more like the emotion of “dilemma”. He knew there were hundreds and thousands of death but he still have to make other decisions. Such disparity happen because of the different status in the war.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:10 am
I think the meaning of “it” is different for Henry and the priest.
For Henry, “it” just represents the war itself. In page 64, after the priest said “But I hate the war.”, Henry followed “I don’t enjoy it.” “it” is the pronoun of war which follows the rule of grammar. Though Henry was just an ambulance driver who would not kill enemies directly, he had seen so many dead peers who he could’t save their lives that made him uncomfortable. And the reason that caused these tragedies is “it” — the war.
For the priest, “it” refers to further than the war, it refers to the destruction of human nature that caused by the war. He said Henry didn’t see it because he only saw the physical injury instead of the hurt in mental health. The priest realized that the soldiers became killing machines and have no feelings toward other people’s death. They even competed the number of enemies they had killed to get the medal. The priest said “I do not see it myself but I feel it a little” because he had never been to the front line but he had already had the strong feeling of the loss of human nature which made him hopeless.
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Re: Chapter Eleven - "it"

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