unigo_skin
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Themes

A soldier's duty is to protect his country, and his job is never done. A horse's job is to protect his master, and his job is never done either. Throughout War Horse, Joey gets tasked with a variety of different jobs, from farming, to cavalry, to pulling heavy machinery. He never questions his orders, and he devotes 100% of his spirit and energy to getting things done right. You might be thinking, "Um, he's a horse," but that's exactly our point. His motivations might be different, but he has the same obligations in war as the human soldiers fighting alongside him.

Questions About Duty

  1. What are Joey's duties on the farm and at war? How are they similar? How are they different?
  2. If Joey could speak, what do you think he would have to say about his various duties? Would he ever complain?
  3. Do Joey's duties differ from those of other soldiers?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Neither the horses nor the human soldiers have much choice in the jobs they do at war. They can only do what they're assigned to do.

Albert's lifelong duty is a devotion to horses. It defines his early life and his military career. Without this commitment, Albert would never have met—and kept—the best friend of his life.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top