How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
War stories tell tales of comradeship and heroism in settings ripe for such action. Ordinary people are thrust into situations of extreme danger which quickly sorts the men from the boys and the heroes from the cowards.
War stories are typically set in known historic wars, with World War 2 as
probably the most popular setting.
Band of Brothers
Wars give plenty of opportunity for heroic action as soldiers and others put
themselves in harm's way to save their comrades, serve their country or
otherwise serve good cause.
Just as we are impressed by mighty storms and other natural displays of power so also do the explosions and destruction of war create awe in its audiences.
War is largely a male preserve and can echo their primitive battling for mates and protection of the tribe. Women are traditionally impressed by displays of power and the two genders may thus gain different pleasure from such stories.
War stories also play to our baser aggressive nature and our suppressed desire for violence can be played out in a vicarious manner for us in the story. The thought of carrying a gun and killing people makes us feel secretly all-powerful and perhaps harks back to early feelings of omnipotence.
These stories can also remind us of the horrors and madness of war as men become monsters and senseless sacrifice on a grand scale is justified for political gain or ideals that seem not to be worth such carnage.