A Critique of “Gone to Soldiers” by Marge PiercyA Critique of “Gone to Soldiers” by Marge Piercy
The novel Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy intricately weaves the lives
of many different people into a connected series of individual plots that give
the reader an exciting view of life during World War II. Piercy connects the
lives of women and men, Jews and gentiles by using family ties and steamy love
affairs. The people have dramatically different profiles, some are rich some
are poor, some are Americans, some are French, some are with power while others
are persecuted, but everyone is connected by the war. War freed women by
allowing them to work in factories and defy their husbands by hiding resisting
French Jews. Piercy makes history exciting by making each character really
experience love and hate and the mundane daily struggles of the individual.
I completely enjoyed Gone to Soldiers, because several main characters
prevented me from getting bored and kept me reading to find out what was going
to happen to each person next. I really enjoyed the profile of Louise Kahan a
female Jewish American writer, because she is independent and strong willed. An
example of her strength and belief in herself Louise did not instantly return to
her ex-husband Oscar even though they both still loved each other, because she
was strong enough to resist him and his womanizing ways. Piercy gave me a much
better understanding of the cultural and social issues of the World War two era.
I learned about the little struggles of working American women, such as the
unavailability of stockings and society’s negative attitude towards women
wearing pants. These issues were ones that I had never thought about before.
It amazes me that only fifty years ago a woman could not wear pants to work.
Ruthie’s friend was sent home to change for wearing loose fitting red pants
because they were considered racy. It is equally surprising to me that women
still have to wear hose with our skirts or be deemed inappropriate. I do not
understand how society has completely changed from a white male society into a
much more diverse culture and still expect women to wear uncomfortable hose.
Piercy made complete sense throughout the entire book and most importantly she
kept my attention. Piercy’s point of view was biased favorably towards American
Jews. I enjoyed the book because it kept my attention on the individual lives
of people in the midst of war instead of the battles fought during the war. I
also liked the complicated weave of lives into one story like a patchwork quilt.
In conclusion, I enjoyed Marge Piercy’s novel Gone to Soldiers, because
it kept my attention with realistic descriptions of people with whom I began to
really understand their feelings and thoughts. Other students should read this
book if they like historical fiction, because it is so captivating. Piercy uses
the individual as a piece of the whole picture, important but not the entirety
of the work which makes this book so intriguing.