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The Winter Soldier


A story of war and medicine, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, ...
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The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

Created: 09/19/18

Replies: 11

Posted Sep. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

The snow is referred to as the "soldier's curse and the soldier’s friend." What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he chose to set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?


Posted Sep. 24, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 292

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

I believe the author was referring to the fact that out in the field the snow can cause many problems for the soldiers for example frostbite or leaving a trail for the enemy to follow, so it is a curse. In the case of it being a friend, it allowed the wounded to remain longer in recovery because the trucks could not get to them.
I can only guess that the author's intent to have the in-depth action take place in the cold weather is because the cold weather is also intense like the action.


Posted Sep. 24, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 192

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

Snow at times was a friend as the fighting stopped for a bit. One could hide and maybe escape. As a foe cold and hard to maneuver.


Posted Oct. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 146

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

Totally agree w/renem.
Being snowed in allows more time to recuperate, rest, & avoid returning to battlefield but at the same time, it prevents supplies/mail from making their way through & at times could make the soldiers feel cut off from the outside world.


Posted Oct. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PinkLady

Join Date: 01/22/18

Posts: 140

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

The snow keeps soldiers from seeing what is around them, the temperatures around snow can be deadly, it blocks sounds of approaching enemies which removes the ability to be prepared. The flip side is it blocks sounds of approaching enemies so if you are the enemy approaching you may have an advantage, it slows armies down and gives the soldiers a chance to restand in extreme cold snow can actually provide some relief.


Posted Oct. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BarbaraLynn

Join Date: 06/16/18

Posts: 7

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

I was incredibly impressed with the author's description and depiction of the cold throughout the book. Not only did it build conflict (curse) and provides respite (friend) for the soldier, as others have explained above, but it was also one of the greatest contributing factor to the mood of the story. Our associations with a snowy landscape are cold, harsh, sparse, and the cold conjures images of hibernation, isolation, and deprivation, all of which the characters experienced in the makeshift hospital.


Posted Oct. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 110

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

When people read about the Great War, it is difficult to conjure the feel of the land. The author does a great job of making someone who hadn't been there, just exactly how it felt to be alone and cold. When it gets REALLY cold you get icicles on your eye lashes and you really lose feeling in your toes but then the toes burn and burn in pain. It is incredibly well described in this book. Daniel Mason did this type of detailed descriptions in his book The Piano Tuner as well - it makes the reader's participation much more viscera;l.


Posted Oct. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kate

Join Date: 01/22/11

Posts: 79

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

I agree with the other posts that it could be seen as a friend in that it gave the soldiers a bit of a break from action. I think so much of the in depth action was set in the snow and cold to parallel how cold and horrific war can be. The isolation, gut wrenching pain, and bleakness of war is felt in the vastness of the bitter cold of the winter.It would have had a completely different read had much of the novel been set in warm, summer months.


Posted Oct. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 182

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

The snow was the soldier's curse because being out in it led to frostbite as well as freezing to death in the snow. Also the frozen roads made it difficult to march or even get supplies to where they needed to be. It was the soldier's friend because campaigns might be shortened, bodies would stop bleeding and dead bodies do not decompose in the snow.


Posted Oct. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 86

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

My interpretation of the snow as "soldier's curse and soldier's friend' is similar to the above comments. The "cold" reality conjures up similar descriptions of the physical cold, pain, frostbite; environmental cold, isolation, loneliness.
There is a certain softness and peacefulness associated with the snow.


Posted Oct. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alwaysdaddygirl's Gravatar
alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

Posts: 110

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this?

I agree with the others. The soldier's curse refers to the negatives of being out in the snow. The part about it being a soldier's friend is when the snow delayed the fighting and it the soldiers a chance to heal, etc. It was like a temporary haven for them. I believe he set the action that way to give us an understanding of the harshness soldiers had to endure. I've used Google to find pictures of WWI soldiers in winter and urge others to do the same. It really provided insight into what they went through.


Posted Oct. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lilliantpr

Join Date: 01/23/12

Posts: 42

RE: The snow is referred to as the 'soldier’s curse and the soldier's friend.' What did the author mean by this? Why do you think he set much of the in-depth action during the cold weather?

I believe that the author when referring to the snow being a curse meant that a soldier can be confronted with a lot of negative circumstances. Snow can hamper the ability in transporting and giving wounded soldiers the much-needed critical medical care as quickly as possible, leading the soldier’s health to worsen or finalize in death. Also, heavy Snowfalls during war can cause Avalanches to fall on soldiers, having therefore fateful consequences. If prolonged, soldiers can freeze to death.

Snow can be a soldier´s friend as cruel as it can sound by “coating” those soldiers who pass away in the war field, therefore preserving their bodies until melting away. By snowing, war action slows down, giving soldiers the opportunity to recuperate physically and emotionally.

It seems that the author set much of the story during the cold weather as a symbolism, it’s a great way to portray a character such as Horváth on the verge of dying or a place torn by war in an artful manner.
References to winter in literature may refer to death, pain, loneliness, despair or an end. The season provides the setting for painful messages, as well as messages of renewal, rebirth and hope. In my opinion, the author chose the best season to portray his story.


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