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Review Novel Example On Two Generals

World War II is a topic that I believe most people find extremely interesting, and the graphic novel, "Two Generals" by Scott Chantler, builds upon that interest. This graphic novel not only explores the war, but it gives the reader the ability to build a relationship with the characters not just through dialogue, but through the graphics as well. Scott Chantler, the author, and illustrator of this novel did hours worth of research using both primary and secondary sources to make this novel as historically accurate as he could make it. The class had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Chantler talk about the process of writing, designing and researching for this novel which only built upon my appreciation of what he accomplished through "Two Generals". In this essay, I will display why I believe "Two Generals" is an effective way of teaching history and what I learned about the Canadian military while reading the novel.
As a first-year student, the workload transition from high school to university is hard to get adjusted to. The fact that our class had the ability to read a graphic novel instead of a huge textbook was a relief. The graphic novel was a very effective tool to get students more immersed in the content we are studying. When listening to the author talk about "Two Generals", it seems that Scott Chantler is proud of how accurate he was able to make it. Chantler was able to use letters, his grandfather's diaries, trench newspapers, and first-hand accounts from the likes of Colonel Douglas Barrie to compile facts that build this story. As students, we want to read content that is entertaining, but is also accurate and is content that holds real historical relevance. Scott Chantler does a great job of building these characters and giving the reader an ability to relate to them emotionally. When Law Chantler finds out that his best friend Jack Chrysler has died, and receives his watch, it hits you emotionally and helps understand how Law must be feeling. There are not many graphic novels or other forms of literature that are both historically accurate and based on a true story, but also build an emotion relation between the reader and the characters. Through the graphics, I was able to see how the Canadian troops lived, what they wore, and the equipment that they used during the war. Scott Chantler, during his speech, relayed to us how he was able to take a look at real uniforms that were worn to depict them accurately. It is facts such as diaries, first-hand accounts, and even looking at old uniforms that make me believe this is an effective way of teaching history. Scott Chantler wanted as many accurate details to be in the novel as he could have. Pairing historical facts with characters that you can be emotionally invested in builds an effective teaching tool. As someone that is a concurrent history student, I would have my students take a look at this novel.
The Canadian military is not a topic I have looked into considering in high school I took European and American history classes. "Two Generals" lets the reader look at how Canadian soldiers lived, the equipment they used, and even the uniforms that were worn. An interesting fact that I learned about the equipment used in World War II is that Canadian troops had bikes on the battlefield. My shock was shared with soldiers in the book as some did not know how to even ride a bike as reflected on page forty-three of the novel. I also found it interesting how Chantler depicted the troops in the carriers getting ready to storm the beach. He illustrates form us a scene where these men are praying, vomiting and smoking as they fear that their lives could end in a matter of minutes. In movies, scenes like these are always lightened by soldiers making jokes, so it was interesting to see an accurate depiction of how they must have felt in such a horrifying moment in Canadian history. Something else that I learned while reading this graphic novel was how the odds were stacked against the Canadian troops as they came onto shore. Chantler states on page eighty-one that the Canadian troops come onto shore with only one hundred rounds of ammunition and were extremely outnumbered by the Germans. Before this Chantler states how the twelfth SS Panzer Division were the cream of the crop when it came to warfare, this builds a nice David and Goliath story that makes the success of the Canadian troops seem even greater. The graphic novel teaches us a lot of facts about the Canadian military and what they faced in World War II which makes these a tool that is effective in teaching the reader new things.
The graphic novel "Two Generals" is a story with historical relevance and accuracy, but is also a novel that can also evoke emotion in the reader. Scott Chantler carefully complied with research to make this a fun read that can teach students a lot about World War II and how soldiers lived and the troubles that they faced. While reading this novel you get the chance to learn as well as be entertained and that is what makes this graphic novel so effective. The service of Law Chantler, Jack Ford and the rest of the infantry is honorable depicted and immortalized in a story that we can all learn from.
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