Monday, August 19, 2013

An allegory of a certain war

I was just going through some old papers of mine from my classroom, and I came across this gem.  See if you can figure out who is who in this scenario, and which war it is. I will decode it for you at the end if you need the help:

For years, Gilbert and Francis had been bigger and more powerful than Jerome; the couple never let Jerome play on the playground.  Gilbert and Francis would either completely ignore Jerome, or tell him that he was too little to play with them.  This always made Jerome angry; he decided not to put up with Gilbert and Francis' treatment any more.  Jerome began taking vitamins and working out regularly; he started to become bigger and bigger.  Eventually, Jerome was more powerful than either Gilbert or Francis.

Jerome finally felt confident enough to begin standing up to Gilbert and Francis.  When Francis tried to take Jerome's lunch money, Jerome pushed Francis to the ground and demanded her lunch money instead.  Francis became very fearful and asked Gilbert to protect her.  Jerome began to boast all of the time how he could easily handle both Gilbert and Francis.  Gilbert knew that it would just be a matter of time before Jerome began attacking him too.  Gilbert decided to ask his friend Russell to watch his back.  Russell agreed.

Jerome's little brother, Austin, realized how strong Jerome had become, so he began to push around some of his smaller classmates too.  One day on the bus, Austin was feeling annoyed by Sergio, so he tripped Sergio as he walked by.  Once on the ground, Austin sat on Sergio and told him that if he wanted to get up, he would have to say that Austin was his boss and that he would do whatever Austin told him to do.  Austin did not realize that Sergio's cousin, Russell, was sitting in the back of the bus and had seen the whole thing.  In order to protect his cousin, Russell felt he had no choice but to challenge Austin to a fight.

Shortly after Russell confronted Austin, Gilbert felt obligated to back up Russell, and, in turn, Francis felt obligated to back up Gilbert.  At the same time, Jerome jumped in on the side of his cousin, Austin.  Soon, everyone on the bus was fighting as well.  The conflict eventually spilled over into the schoolyard.  Before it was over, there were a lot of medical bills, as well as property damage to the bus and to the school.  Russell was transferred to another school before the fighting ended, but he too had been badly beaten up.  By that time, Gilbert, Francis, Jerome, and Austin had just about beaten each other to a standstill... until a foreign exchange student named Amerigo arrived to visit the school.  Amerigo, who had recently begun taking vitamins, and working out like Jerome had done, took a look at what was happening and decided to jump in on the side of Gilbert and Francis.  Together, a badly beaten up Gilbert and Francis, backed by a strong and fresh Amerigo, eventually beat Jerome and his friends.  Jerome wound up in the hospital.

Gilbert and Francis decided to make Jerome pay for all of the damage that they said he had caused.  They sneaked into Jerome's hospital room and broke both his legs in order to ensure that he could never hurt them again.  They threatened to break his arms too, unless he agreed to pay for all of the damages that the fight had caused to everyone.  Jerome was aware that he did not have any money left - nor would he be able to make additional money because of his broken legs - but he agreed to the terms anyway.  Gilbert and Francis also made Jerome agree to never go back to the playground and also to give away all his vitamins and workout equipment.  Jerome reluctantly agreed, and Gilbert and Francis felt much better.

Several months later, Jerome had his casts taken off his legs.  He secretly began to take vitamins and work out again, and he started to feel much better.  He began to think....

So, give up?

Here you go:

War: World War I
Gilbert: Great Britain
Francis: France
Jerome: Germany
Russell: Russia
Austin: Austria-Hungary
Sergio: Serbia
Amerigo: United States

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