A Comparison of War Horse with Private Peaceful

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Date Submitted: 04/04/2013 10:06 AM

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A Comparison of War Horse with Private Peaceful

Both War Horse and Private Peaceful are written by Michael Morpurgo. War Horse was first published in 1982, whereas Private Peaceful was first published in 2003. Although both novels are based around World War 1, they are written from two very different perspectives. War Horse is a narrative written in the first person where Joey, the main character, is the animal narrator. Similarly, Private Peaceful is written in the 1st person, almost as a diary entry, by Tommo who is a teenage boy.

In Private Peaceful the two main characters are Tommo and Charlie. They are brothers with a very close relationship. Charlie the oldest is brave, strong, protective, loyal and very caring. He is adored by his brother Tommo who is shy and depends upon Charlie to a great extent. Interestingly, in War Horse whilst Joey and Topthorn, the two main characters are both horses, their relationship is not dissimilar to that of Charlie and Tommo. Topthorn is the stronger, more experienced horse held in high regard by Joey.

Despite the books being a similar length, you get to know the characters a lot more in Private Peaceful. This is possibly because you are able to relate more to the conflicts that arise in the plot from a human’s point of view.

In Private Peaceful, Tommo remembers his life with Charlie on the night before Charlie is going to be executed for disobeying an order. He recalls their family life, his dad’s death, his disabled brother Joe and how his mother was the lynch pin of their family, always protecting them from the Colonel who played a part in sending them to war. He remembers his time at school with Mr Manning’s, the bullying teacher, how he and Charlie had met and both fallen in love with Molly. He recalls how and why they first went off to war, what their training was like and their actual experience of war together. You get a real feel of what it would be like fighting the war as a British soldier in the...