Ink brush, white gouache
36.8 x 25.8 inches. Private Collection
"He went down into the water again and fought and fought and then came up with his belly jumping and his throat aching. And all the time that he was under the water fighting with only one arm to get back he was having conversation with himself about how this thing couldn´t possibly happen to him only it had.“
(From: "Johnny got his gun“, Kensington Publishing Corp.)
The horror of war is one thing, the growing awareness of what war actually does and how Johnny was drawn into its maelstrom is something else. He relives the past in an inner dialogue and has no choice; he must sort out all the horror, all the realization of his present condition, all by himself, and still keep his wits about him. He "stares with bulging eyes into total darkness." In addition, there are the injections and treatments that are performed on him, the character of which he can guess, but whose effects he cannot resist.