Evan D & David N

War & Power

Definition of the word: War - The state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism, usually a struggle or competition between two opposing force. Power - The possession of ability to wield force, permissive authority, or any substantial influences or to produce an effect (http://www.dictionary.com)

Our definition: By the act of the strong wielding force, the pressure to fight and compete with each other to create a beneficial effect due to problems in that country. May be in the form of a weapon, a person self confidence, their behavior, and how they see the world.

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In the book, Slaughter House - Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, it talks about the adventure of Billy Pilgrim, and the damage war had caused to him. Billy Pilgrim faces problems with believing in aliens, and time traveling due to the powers left behind by war. During the book, Billy has to prove that he wasn’t insane, but the power that impacted his brain was permanent and overruled his reality thinking. Even though he had won the battle of war, he had lost the war to reality.

"Billy had seen the greatest massacre in European history, which was the fire - bombing of Dresden," pg 108.

This quote from the book showed that power comes from things like bombs, and it usually leads into a lot of innocent bystander being killed, and also leaves a devastating that can last a long time. Everyone around is affected by this because their homes are being destroyed, their lives at risk of being taken, running away to avoid bombs, and thinking about what happen. Power usually is a person willing to do anything to win, and Dresden was an example of it.

"Three other wanders behind not quite dazed, allowed Billy to tag along, 2 of them were scout, one anti-tank gunner. No food or map, avoiding Germans into the rural silence," pg 32.

This quote shows me that sometimes power in the people is the strong will to continue. If the people can’t keep it strong, then they might lose or die because with no food or map, it all depends on how much you want to win, and fight to stay alive.

“He died there of pneumonia,” pg 41.

To me, diseases were never a huge problem, but as I research more, I found out that the biggest killing thing in war were diseases. Diseases are probably one of the strongest power sources any opposing side could use because it takes a while to find the cure, and it can instantly kill mass amount of people in little time.

“Today could be the day, every night I pray,” pg 103.

During war, you can die at anytime due to bombs, random attacks, and raids. The soldier praying probably because wants to live, they want to go home to their family, become a dad or mom again, and get back to reality. However, it might still be impossible in the end, because all they would think about is war, and how it affected their lives.

In the book, Marine Sniper, by Charles Henderson, Henderson follows the story of the greatest sniper to ever be in the Marines, Carlos Hatchcock. Sgt. Hatchcock was one of the first marksmen to ever be in the marines and was involved in the War in Vietnam. Although he had 93 confirmed kills, he had many other unconfirmed. While his main goal was fighting and staying alive, snipers were not a common thing in the marines, so he wanted to prove to the people in power how efective they can be. This story follows some of Hatchcock's most difficult and exciting kills, as he tries to keep himself alive, even though the entire Vietnamese Army is out for the man with the white feather on his helmet.

Power in Games

This image if from Call of Duty because I think that Call of Duty represents the power of war very well. Call of Duty has four games that incorporated war and power that relates to the book Slaughter-House Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. The version of the game that involves World War 2 was Call of Duty one, two, three, and five. In Call of Duty, the main objective is to take out the opposing force by invading and using technology like bombs to destroy their radio and contact. I thought this was a great example because of all the technology and guns that the game uses. There are variety of guns, anti-missile machine, and bombs that leads to mass destruction/killing of the opposing force which shows that killing all comes from technology. Also, since the power in war changes as you progress, people start losing that will to fight, and the courage, and power would slowly decrease throughout the game. This is like when you get bored of the game, you slowly continue to back away, and don’t even try, which shows that war (game) can be tiring sometimes.

In my opinion, everyday games are continuing to incorporate more games that involve a war, like Halo, Mass Destruction, and much more. I think they are doing this because they want people to see how the war really was. However, in reality, you don’t have those extra lives, it just once your dead, your dead! The power of the war impacts everyone, and video games, articles, poems, the media, are spreading rapidly throughout people mind changing from one person to another.

A Bomb-Blast Came out of the Dark

by: Michael Cope (1952- ) (Poem about war)


A bomb-blast came out of the dark we heard people running,
got dressed went out and ran with them
We stood talking not far from where pieces of the station lavatory
were sharded on the pavement
A statement about the bomb the next day
claimed it for the freedom struggle)
We went back to bed and continued
making love in the excited dark
And when we exploded we fell into each other and burned with
a light fire and lay tight together wet with sweat
And a star shone into the bedroom where we'd parted the
curtain to look at the people running

Interpretation: During war, people are feared by the power that comes with it, in this case, the poems talks about the bombs. If a hometown is involved and your the victim, then you would be in constant fear everyday, watching people run and yell, praying that their lives isn't taken on that day and also praying for yourself. You still have the chance to survive for one more day, but in the end, you have a greater chance of dying at any given moment.

Overall, I thought this poem was really interesting. Michael Cope tried to explain that if you have the chance to survive, then you should live it too the greatest until you die. The poem ended by the person dying with his loved one, and they lay together watching the other people run. It is really sad that war causes all of this because of that. I don’t think that anyone who isn’t involved should die like that, and be in constant fear each day because of the power of their government and the impact of the decisions they choose to make.

By Edwina Matthews

To some power is guns
To some power is knifes
To some power is the ability to read, and write.
To some power is control
To some power is a fist
To some like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. power was words.
To some power is like a trapped animal trying to get out of a cage.
To some power is love
To some power is art
To some power is money
To me power is knowledge
So what is power to you?

Interpretation: To me, I think the meaning is rather obvious. Everyone has a different opinion, and therefor, everyone has a different interpretation of what power is. During wars, most peoples ideas of power is gaining ranks, or being in charge. To some, power is gained by winning battles and the overall war.

The poem itself isn't really that "poetic". It seems Matthews was out to get a message across rather than make a great poem. She wants to show how power can be interpreted in many ways. She ends it rather interestingly with asking the reader what they think power is after listing what other people view it as. In Marine Sniper, power was having control over other people, In Slaughter House-5, power was represented in a more interesting way. Having power over oneself.

War And Power in Songs

"Mosh" by Eminem

Rebel with a rebel yell, raise hell we gonna let em know
And as we proceed,
To Mosh through this desert storm,
In these closing statements, if they should argue
Let us beg to differ
As we set aside our differences
And assemble our own army
To disarm this Weapon of Mass Destruction
That we call our President, for the present
And Mosh for the future of our next generation
To speak and be heard
Mr. President, Mr. Senator
Do you guy's hear us...hear us...[laughing] (Hailie)

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/eminem/mosh.html (Link to the rest of the lyrics)
http://www.jango.com/music/Eminem?l=0 (Link to the actual song)

This song talked about the power in the government, and that when people try to express their words, it means absolutely nothing. That the pledge we do everyday doesn’t mean a thing, that our rights is limited, so the President has the power to do whatever he wants with the consent of his surrounds. The power of the government is a really scary thing, since in the past it had been abused by hiring friends, cheated, rigged voting, and currently, the president still has so much more power. Soldiers, are just pawn to the president, and they fight the battles that the government led them into.

The song overall was pretty intense. The beat wasn’t that great, probably because he was singing about war, so that made sense. Also, some of his word choices about war wasn’t that great, however still had some information to prove that the power of war was in the government hands. I think that no war song should be happy, and Eminem overall did great in his rapping of the Mosh.

"War Pigs" By Black Sabbath
Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death's construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds
Oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait 'til their judgement day comes

Now in darkness world stops turning
Ashes where the bodies burning
No more war pigs have the power
Hand of God has struck the hour
Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees the war pig's crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan laughing spreads his wings
Oh lord yeah!

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/black+sabbath/war+pigs_20019418.html For lyrics
http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/tracks#war%20pigs/all/1 For the song

This song discusses how people in power will handle and fight the war. How powerful people will start wars, and then have others, mainly the poor, fight these wars. At the end Ozzy Osbourne, the writer of the song, concentrates on what he hopes will happen and that the "war pigs" or people in power won' have control over these wars anymore.

Near the beginning however, the song talks about how all these people, who've been given a position of power, will plot these wars, and how the war will help them acheive their goals. When it comes to "treating people just like pawns in chess" that deals with how little control over themselves these people have and how in chess, the pawns go first. In war, the powerful people send the "pawns" to do their fighting.


This article is about how the president gains a lot of power by the laws that is created during a certain circumstance. The article explained how the US President has the power to detain any US or foreign nation. It also talked about how these laws can give a solid statutory foundation, and it allows president to identify enemies and imprison them indefinitely and interrogate them. One other cool thing is that it strips the courts of jurisdiction to hear challenges to his interpretation. The only bad thing about this is that the president could abuse their powers, or put innocent people in jails and interrogate them without proofs.

This is a music video on the power that people has, and that during a war, it is up to the people to do something, to create, to form a bond and help people in need. I like the pictures the video had of Africa, and it really shows that if people help, we can bring that smile into their face, and feel happy about ourselves. It would also say a lot about the characters of the person, because the ability to help and ignore is dependent on the person character.

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Objects and People That Creates Power

These are pictures of Hitler, army suit, a tank, and a rifle. People and objects can represent power, and how you use that power influences the way you fight, survive, and grow stronger.

For Hitler, he was the dictator of Germany during World War II, and he started it by invading nearby countries. Since he was the dictator, the people who wanted to go against Germany during that time couldn’t, because being a dictator means you have absolute power, and this is why Hitler was so deadly. Another reason why no one could stop him was the war they fought earlier. It ended up making Germany poor, so this was probably their chance to grow strong again. Hitler used his power for that reason, and this is why so many lives had been taken, and many towns destroyed, like Dresden in Slaughter-House Five.

Tanks and rifles are also a representation of war and power by causing people to die during war. This is because the power comes from the technology, and these weapons showed that it had big power and able to kill anyone with one blow. Also, many nations has these technology with them, so they could use it to kill, show someone that snipers are not useless, win a war, cause mass amount of blood, and end innocent people lives.

The army suits represent the nation pride. In war, sometimes survival and the will to protect the nation is the only power that some soldiers have left. The war is a scary place, but having that feeling of knowing you saving lives could make you continue on. It is also for camouflage because in war, the hidden attacks and ambushes are important strategy to have to win a fight.

Whenever someone is given power, they will use it as they see fit. No matter what someone does, in any given scenario, it will upset someone. Because war is a touchy subject to begin with, it only adds on to people disagreeing with each others opinions. But sometimes the person in power will abuse it. Someone was once quoted as saying "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." This can be interpreted as the more power someone has, the more corrupt they become. When it comes to war itself, Judi Bari his the nail on the head when she said "you can intellectually think about the horror of war, but that human beings could do this to each other, this is the true horror."

Work Cited

Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughter House – Five. New York: Dell Publishing, 1991.

Henderson, Charles. Marine Sniper. New York: Penguin Group, 1988.

“War Poems.” Black Cat Poems. 14 Mar. 2010. <http://www.blackcatpoems.com/>

“Mosh.” AzLyrics. 14 Mar. 2010. <http://www.azlyrics.com/>

“War Pigs.” LyricsFreak. 16 Mar. 2010. <http://www.lyricsfreak.com/>

Mosh. Eminem. With Universal Distribution, 2002.

War Pigs. Black Sabbath. With Rodger Bain 1970

“Unchecked Power.” Global Issues. 15 Mar. 2010. <http://www.globalissues.org/>