Exploring Genre: War

Author: Barbara Stanners, Publisher: Phoenix

Exploring Genre: War provides in-depth analysis and exercises to help students analyse, interpret and articulate their understanding of ‘War’ in a range of representative texts.

This title includes:

  • Genre conventions and thematic concerns
  • Background information relating to historical context
  • Textual forms and features
  • Strategies and resources for deconstructing texts
  • Wide ranging activities with emphasis on key ideas and how these are developed and communicated

War has been a significant feature in human history since time immemorial. Positive qualities such as courage, loyalty, duty and compassion are countered by much darker tendencies for brutality, ruthlessness and destruction. Throughout history, texts that deal with the phenomenon of ‘war’ have explored this juxtaposition of right/wrong, humanity/inhumanity and love/hate. The ravaging effects of armed conflict have often been graphically recounted in poems, novels, short stories and songs or voiced by passionate advocates for peace or discounted by jingoistic war mongers who speak of glorious victory.

A range of appropriate texts have been selected to demonstrate the changing face of war over time. Detailed analysis of the conventions, themes, techniques and contextual impact has been provided to help teachers develop and deepen student understanding, critical evaluation and personal interpretation. What such texts demonstrate is that ultimately there are no winners in any war for despite the specific campaign or the weapons uses, war stains all participants in the horror and suffering it unleashes.


War Genre

  • Defining War
  • Mother’s Day Proclamation
  • War as Genre
  • ‘Henry V’ – Shakespeare
  • ‘The War Prayer’ - Mark Twain
  • ‘Breaker Morant’

World War I

  • The Great War
  • ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ – Erich Maria Remarque
  • Visualising War
  • W.W.I. Propaganda
  • Poetry of the Great War
  • Close Study – Wilfred Owen
  • Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain

World War II

  • Guernica – Pablo Picasso
  • The One Day of the Year – Alan Seymour
  • Cinematic Representation
  • Schindler’s List’- Steven Spielberg
  • ‘Life is Beautiful’- Roberto Benigni
  • ‘The Survivor’ – Tadeusz Rozewicz
  • ‘The French Prisoner’- Janos Pilinszky
  • ‘Hiroshima’ – Angela Clifton
  • ‘Barefoot Gen’ - Keiji Nakazawa

Legacy of Vietnam

  • ‘Homecoming’ – Bruce Dawe
  • ‘Dear America’ – Bill Coputurie
  • ‘We Regret to Inform You’- Barbara Sonneborn
  • ‘I was Only 19’ – John Schumann
  • Newspaper Article: ‘Mind and body to work as one’
  • ‘Colors of War’ – William Black Jr.
  • ‘Young Man in Vietnam’ – Charles Coe

Military Rhetoric

  • Defining Rhetoric
  • Winston Churchill
  • General George S. Patton
  • Lieutenant Colonel Tim Collins

Responding and Composing Skills

  • Sample Stories
  • ‘War Photographer’- Carol Ann Duffy
  • ‘Your Attention Please’ - Peter Porter
  • Sample Exam
More Information
Year Level Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Year 12
Date of Publication 2011
ISBN 9781921586019
Subject English