I’m writing an essay about a short story “The Old Man at the Bridge”. The story is taking place during a war. While carts, children, men, women and mule-drawn carts with soldiers were crossing the pontoon bridge there was an old man sitting with no movement. It was soldier’s business to cross the bridge, explore the bridgehead beyond and find out what point the enemies had advanced. The old man still sat there, and didn’t move. The soldier had to try to help him to stand up and cross the bridge.
Unfortunately, the man was too tired to move so they just stayed where they were and an old man explained how he ended up on that bridge in the middle of a war and what he did before he came to the bridge. The old man began with explaining what he did back in his town before the artillery forced him to leave. His every day job was to look after animals.
However, when war activities reached his town captain told him to leave, “the captain told me to go because of the artillery”.
After he left his town he walked until he couldn’t walk anymore and stopped at the pontoon bridge. What really touched me in this story is that while he was explaining about his job back in his town he mentioned his animals that he looked after. The old man looked after a cat, four pigeons and two goats. He explained to a soldier that the cat is able to survive but others, he couldn’t even imagine how would other animals survive.
In the text, it says that the old man said “The cat, of course, will be all right. A cat can look out for itself, but I cannot think what will become of the others.” Even though he is sitting without being able to move on the bridge in the middle of the war he still cares and worries about his animals. This made me think how people should actually take care of their pets and all animals in general. Apart from making me think about taking care of animals this story had a very negative but unfortunate truthful thesis. The thesis is that the war effects everyone even those who don’t choose sides. This line hasn’t been mentioned in this story with exactly the same words however the author then explained that when the old man talked about politics he meant exactly those words.
The old man says “I am without politics”, but he is still majorly effected by the war “And you had to leave them?” “Yes, because of the artillery”. These quotes prove us that the old man doesn’t care about politics, and that he isn’t on anyone’s side, but even though he had to leave his home, town and animals because of the war. Overall in my opinion this story teaches its readers about two major things: to take care of animals well, and that the war unfortunately effects everyone. We should definitely take the old man’s compassion for animals as a good example for us on how people should care about their animals. I obsoletely agree on that a war effects all people, those who choose the side and those who don’t. People that think that a war can solve their problems or prevent problems are very mistaken. A war will only cause more trouble and problems. When there is a war thousands of people have to leave their homes, families and most importantly in a war thousands of innocent people can die. If people could stop all the wars in the world and everything could be solved by negotiations the world could get so much better.