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DALTON TRUMBO 1905-1976. EARLY LIFE. Montrose, Colorado Later moved to Shale City (refers to his hometown in Johnny Got His Gun While in high school started to write for the local newspaper

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DALTON TRUMBO

1905-1976

early life
EARLY LIFE
  • Montrose, Colorado
  • Later moved to Shale City (refers to his hometown in Johnny Got His Gun
  • While in high school started to write for the local newspaper
  • To support his sisters and mom after his father died, he worked the night shift at the bakery (refers to this in Johnny)
  • Studied at Univ. of Calif. during this time and his first stories and essays were published in Vanity Fair
  • 1932- wrote for Hollywood Spectator (film magazine) and left the bakery when he was offered the job of managing editor
inspiration for johnny got his gun
INSPIRATION FOR JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN
  • Worked in a bookstore for a man who lost his eye in World War I.
  • He also read an article about a British officer who was horribly disfigured during World War I.
  • Inspired by the horrors of World War I and the oppressiveness of the United States draft
  • Trumbo wanted to show the realistic view of war in a time when war was being romanticized.
history of the novel
HISTORY OF THE NOVEL
  • Published on September 3, 1939 (two days after the start of World War II
  • After Pearl Harbor, this book was taken out of publication and even banned for being “Pro-Axis”
  • Out of print during the Korean War
  • Regained popularity during the Vietnam War
  • The book won a National Book Award
  • In 1971, the book was made into a movie
  • Did not do well in the United States’ box offices
significance of the title of the novel
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TITLE OF THE NOVEL
  • “Johnny Get Your Gun” was a motivational song from World War I
  • Novel reveals what happens when “Johnny got his gun”
  • Title is a sarcastic shot at the romantic vision of war
literary background naturalistic
LITERARY BACKGROUNDNATURALISTIC
  • Ordinary guy is crushed by society (war)
  • Little or no control over his fate
  • “shell has a number on it”
  • Realistic vision of war
flashback
FLASHBACK
  • The technique used to write Johnny Got His Gun
  • An interruption of the natural sequence of events whereby a character recalls an incident which has occurred earlier in life
stream of consciousness
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
  • Writing in a continuous stream of thought without regard to sentence development, grammar conventions, etc. (internal monologue)
  • How Dalton Trumbo shows the main character’s, Joe Bonham, thoughts
  • Introduced by the philosopher William James in 1890
  • An attempt to follow the natural flow of thoughts a character has.
  • Allows the reader to witness the most intimate thoughts of the character
about johnny got his gun
ABOUT JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN
  • Joe Bonham (protagonist of book)
  • Soldier in World War I
  • Body has been destroyed in battle
  • At first doesn’t realize his situation
  • When he realizes he tries to find ways to communicate to the outside world
  • Trumbo follows Joe’s thoughts, feelings, and memories as he lies helpless in a nightmare (stream of consciousness)