Johnny Got His Gun, Chapter 1
English 10A, 6th Period


November 5, 2000


“Chapter 1” of Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo was very confusing. It starts in France with a constant ringing phone that irritates a soldier of WWI. He has flashbacks of his father’s death, senior year, Christ, experiences in the war, childhood Christmas memories, parent’s love for each other, and the old party line.


“It [the telephone bell] sounded different from any other telephone bell or any other sound because it had meant death” (Trumbo pg.8). Neuropsychologically the perception of sound can be alternative to actual meaning. Through humankind, death has been signaled in numerous ways. Usually in ways that are recurring and come in times of illness, as in this story. I believe the character assumes death as a pending action. The pain he is suffering is incapable of being disregarded. Therefore, the character’s flashbacks must be caused by the thought of awaiting death and pain. Not to mention the large distance between the character and the people in his flashbacks, which provoke the need for remembrance.


The flashbacks that the character witnessed are devastating to a “dying” man. When a man is faced with memories of their mother (regardless of treatment received by the mother) in time of pending death, there determination to live is extended miraculously. Reading these passages, most people don’t feel the effect of the flashbacks. This is primarily due to both the confusion of this chapter and the little people understand behavioral psychology.


This chapter was depressing to read. It may be because as I read this chapter, I though of my paralyzed and mute father who could hardly see and spent 18 months constantly in a hospital bed. He too was an armed force member, which was also the reason for his illness. I was too small to see him in the emergency room. Only 7 years old. I was so distressing that tears couldn’t even come out of my eyes (it just physically hurt). The only time I seen him that day is when he was being transferred to the MRI. Those few seconds are my only memories of him now. I probably have seen them in my mind a million times by now. I had seen them as I read.


Johnny Got His Gun, Chapter 2
English 10A, 6th Period


November 6, 2000

“Chapter 2” of Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo was quite boring to read. It was all about Johnny’s younger days of life including his mother, the hamburger man, Christmas, Shale City, snow, Lincoln Beechy, and Mr. Hargraves. Again, his mother is mentioned greatly. I feel that Johnny and his mother have a sturdy relationship. Johnny and his father tend to have a normal father-son relationship. Upset, Johnny’s father liked Johnny’s friends and even took them to see shows.
Johnny’s father decided to leave their home city and enter WWI through Romania. He died and America entered, along with Johnny. Johnny thinks to himself about the war. “This was no war for you. This thing wasn’t any of your business” (Trumbo, page 24). I assume that Johnny regrets entering this war, as many war-injured people do. He had a choice, even if he was drafted. And the text also states that he “…never really knew what the fight was all about” (Trumbo, page 24). How can one fight a fight without knowing what they’re fighting about?


Reading this chapter was extremely tedious. Yet, I still felt compassion for this ill boy, Johnny, who has lost his father to war and may potentially, lose his own life to war. If the author is trying to set a mood in this chapter, he certainly failed (unless it was boredom).



Johnny Got His Gun, Chapter 4
English 10A, 6th Period


November 8, 2000


“Chapter 4” of Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo was appealing. It involved characters burning other characters, such as Diane, Joe’s girlfriend, cheated with Glen Hogan, Glen Hogan, Onie’s girlfriend, cheated with Diane, and Onie, Howie’s girlfriend, cheated with Glen Hogan (cheating, burning, cheating, burning!).


In relation with the burning topic, the question “has your friend burned you?” was posed. The answer: I was in Sunday school at the Church of Jesus Christ &