Based on the author’s experiences on the Western Front, Richard Aldington’s first novel, Death of a Hero, finally joins the ranks of Penguin. Death of a Hero has ratings and 40 reviews. Douglas said: This book initially came into my hands when I was fifteen years old, and found, by chance. Death of a Hero: Richard Aldington: best and best known novel, Death of a Hero (), to which All Men Are Enemies () was a sequel, reflected the.

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Pursewarden: Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington

Aldington, a cofounder of the Imagist movement in poetry, served more than two kf in the British Army during the war, rising to the rank of captain. He was therefore eminently qualified to write Death of a Heroa stark chronicle of social disintegration and apocalyptic violence that some consider the greatest of all novels about the Great War.

Although Death of a Hero ranks among the most potent pieces of antiwar fiction ever published, it is so much more than that. Bitterly recollecting the bourgeois complacency, hypocrisy, and ill—founded patriotism of the nation in which he spent his youth, Aldington mounts a scalding critique of prewar social values—values that, he suggests, were not swept aside by the war but actually helped to make the global catastrophe inevitable.

As war gradually approaches, Winterbourne finds himself perpetually at odds with the world around him. A boy of artistic talents, he has been born to deatu wholly incapable of understanding his gifts.

Death of a Hero Reader’s Guide

Just as his youthful x begins to flourish, he is sent to a school that seems bent on destroying his noblest instincts and blunting his most delicate perceptions.

Seeking love, he falls under the influence of two women—Elizabeth, whom he marries, and Fanny, whom he takes as a mistress—who are driven by carnal passions and selfish desires that he can only partly comprehend.

What finally awaits him, however, is a still less comprehensible destiny: Acerbic, merciless, and sometimes despairing in its anger, Death of a Hero does more than chronicle the literal death of its protagonist. With frightening and unerring precision, it dissects the process by which a war can reduce a brave and decent man into a shattered walking ghost.


It tells of how an innocent spirit is gradually coarsened and corrupted by a philistine society. Stained with the guilt of a society founded on lies, cursed with the brutality that continually reasserts itself in the human heart, George Winterbourne dies not once but perpetually, and his world dies with him.

Around the edges of this dark and brooding work, faint hopes for redemption arise, emerging from the resilient beauty of nature, the aldingtkn resilient courage of men, and the recurrent ecstasy of new love.

Born Edward Godfree Aldington in Portsmouth, England, inRichard Aldington spent his early adulthood in the heart of the nascent Modernist literary movement. He married fellow poet H. Hilda Doolittle in and, with her, pioneered the school of poetry that Ezra Pound named Imagism. He was, at various times, a close associate of T.

Aldington also had a significant friendship—and, later, a deqth falling out with future Nobel laureate T. Aldington joined the British Army in and served as an officer in the storied Royal Sussex Regiment. The couple eventually separated. Still on friendly terms, they divorced in Is he right about this? How, if at all, is the novel stylistically reminiscent of jazz?

What may have motivated Aldington to give away his ending?

Death of a Hero

Did he make the right artistic heeo In effect, Aldington tells his story twice: Apart from their length, in what important ways do these two tellings differ? Why do you think Aldington chose this organization for his book? Although it is best known as an antiwar novel, Death of a Hero is approximately two thirds complete before George Winterbourne joins the army.

Discuss these relationships in terms of their love, passion, and morality, or lack thereof. if

Death of a Hero – Wikipedia

What aspects of life in these schools particularly enrage him? What connections does he perceive between public school culture and the English world view that led to the war?

Alxington his military service, George Winterbourne comes rather quickly to doubt that the Germans are his true enemies. Who or what are the real enemies in Death of a Hero, and how does Aldington propose fighting them? During the war, while Aldington aldinyton in France, his wife, H.


Aldington himself took a mistress. Before the war was over, H. When Deatn returned from duty, suffering from shell shock, he and H. The couple lived completely separate lives before finally divorcing nine years after Aldington published Death of a Hero. How might these events have influenced Aldington in his thoughts on free love as expressed in Death of a Hero?

Death of a Hero has a logical defect in its narration: How does this twisting of narrative logic have an impact on your reading of the novel? In what ways, though, does the entire novel describe the gradual death of George Winterbourne? What, in Death of a Herodo most of the characters seem to regard as manliness?

How, by contrast, do Winterbourne and Aldington appear to define what is manly, and how do their ideas contrast with the prevailing view? What is your own definition of manliness?

Although he is deeply repelled by the pettiness and hypocrisy of life in society, Aldington does find in the world possible sources for individual redemption. What, for Aldington, are the potentially saving experiences of life?

Why do they seemingly fail to save George Winterbourne? What functions are served by the poem that Aldington wrote for the epilogue to Death of a Hero? What levels of meaning does the poem add to the novel?

How does it change the poem to read it in light of the novel? Learn More About Death of a Hero print. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices.

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