Thomas Hardy, “And There Was a Great Calm”

I was asked to add my own final reading, so here it is.

Potential Book Recommendation?

I was scrolling through my best friend’s goodreads today and I saw a book which would tie in well with this class, especially what we have been discussing recently. It is called Lovely War by Julie Berry and it ties in Greek mythology with World War One. From what I can gather, in the story the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells the stories of four different people in World War One to Hephaestus and Ares. A pianist, a soldier with dreams of being an architect, a famous muscian, a Belgian singer, and a famous muscian about to join the 15th New York Infantry(an all African-American regiment) are followed in the war. It seems like a really interesting combination of a lot of what we discuss in class as it handles the war robbing young people of their futures, race issues, romance in the war, and the inevitably of war(as Aphrodite telling the story in a Manhatten hotel room during the height of WWII. No promises the book is any good, but the goodreads reviews are solid so I will probably give it a read since it seems it could be worth it!

The tie in not only reminds me of what we discused in class, but made me reflect on the relationship between Greek mythology and the Great War in general. Beyond the many allusions, like the last name of Jason as a representation of a mythological hero, people look to mythology to try to undersand the war. The fairly recent Wonder Woman film was the first thing to come to mind because it is a good example of how/why mythology and war tie into together. War, especially the Great War, can sometimes just be too terrible to comprehend and people have to look to bigger than life reasons for it. In Wonder Woman, the characters blame the Greek God Ares for the War assuming humans could never create such horrific conflict on their own. Some blame God, others came up with twisted excuses like saying it is because of “sins” humanity(other wise known as giving people basic human rights). I just think it is interesting to evaluate how war impacts the human mind and how people search for reasons behind tragedy.