Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Patricia  Coffey

Link to Patricia Coffey's Senior Art Thesis

Anton  Myrer

Anton Myrerís Characterization of World War II G.I.s

World War II G.I.s

During the 1940s, immediately after Pearl Harbor, men began to mobilize for war and enter training camps that taught them discipline and confidence. The experiences of war were more influential than anything else in their lives. The characters from Anton Myrerís novels represent the changes in G.I.s during war. The youth of the generation quickly dissolved when war made them men. Myrer allows the reader to understand life at war and experience the transforming effect of life threatening events. These traumatic events of war create new men who are sent home to an unfamiliar American society. The G.I.sí role in World War II was vital to the destruction of totalitarianism across seas. Although the pre-war training camps provided men with confidence and skills for battle, they were not ready to experience the intense traumatic events that occurred in war. The eye-opening experiences of death, loss and extreme loneliness left the G.I.s with a new perception. The G.I.s in World War II escaped painful realities of war by writing to family and friends living outside the world of war. The G.I.s began to establish comradeship with one another; they depended on each other to survive both unbearable lonely days and the highly stressful days. After the war in 1945, the G.I. Bill permitted returning veterans to enter colleges and complete their education. The G.I Bill enabled the men to experience a more positive part of their lives with one another. World War II changed the naÔve young boys into serious disciplined men who were able to make good use of the opportunities available from the G.I Bill.

Major Works Consulted:

Brokaw, Tom. The Greatest Generation. New York: Random, 1998.
Myrer, Anton. The Last Convertible . New York: Perennial, 2002. ---. Once An Eagle. New York: Perennial, 2002.
Wukovits, John F.Life of an American Soldier in Europe. San Diego: Lucent, 2002.
Photo Credit: Myrer, Anton.Once An Eagle. New York: Perennial, 2002.