Do you agree with this attitude? After reading Chapter 2, I fully endorsed Andrew's skepticism. But as the book progressed, I came to see a common theme of creating positivity out of the small victories, even to the point of finding elements of victory in a larger defeat. After considering this point, I realized that this is really what war is about; both sides will suffer massive losses, but the small victories will add up for the ultimate victor.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Positivity: Delusion or Necessity?
Chapter 2 shows the first signs of a common thread throughout Book 2: positivity in times of peril. I was especially confused in this chapter at the many "congratulations" thrown around even though the Austrians had just suffered a loss. Somehow, all of the men in the scene, except Prince Andrew, manage to spin Mack's defeat into a victory. I shared Prince Andrew's sentiments about the importance of acknowledging the high stakes of the war. But this type of unwarranted positivity continued throughout Book 2. The end of Chapter 4 has perhaps more exclamation points, all of pure joy, than any other page in Book 2. This excitement ensues from news that Mack has surrendered with his entire army. The recipients of the news are quick to understand that they cannot respond with nerves, but with excitement. The last line of Chapter 4, "Well thank God! We've been sitting here too long!" (117) shows a step above courage--excitement. Andrew seems to view this attitude as delusional and foolish.