France in World War I in Flags in the Dust (Location)

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World War I France
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A number of characters in Flags in the Dust go to France during the First World War. Bayard and John Sartoris see combat in the skies over the trenches, as pilots in the Royal Air Force; Buddy MacCallum serves with valor in the infantry; Caspey Strother was enrolled in the supply services, the only way black soldiers were allowed to serve at that time; and Horace Benbow (accompanied by Montgomery Ward Snopes) serves as a non-combatant with the Y.M.C.A. Bayard is described as haunted by the war, especially the loss of his brother, but the narrative goes there indirectly, in the accounts these returning men tell the people who remained at home.  The most detailed stories are Caspey's absurd accounts (58-62).  Bayard's two accounts of his brother's death over France and the revenge he took against the German who shot him down express his own trauma and appal his listeners (43, 257-59).  But otherwise when the narrator, Bayard or Buddy talk about the experience, it is in very stylized terms: "Man became amphibious and lived in mud and filth" (71); "a meteoric violence . . . beyond heaven or hell and partaking of both" (123); "an imminent but incomprehensible nightmare" (341).

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Combat Zone