|This examination of twentieth-century American war novels has two primary goals. The first is to distinguish a "rhetorical" analysis from a "literary" or "stylistic" analysis. This is accomplished by examining the "rhetorical strategies" commonly employed by twentieth-century novelists. Edwin Black, in Rhetorical Criticism: A Study in Method, explains that although rhetorical strategies refer to the characteristics of discourse, relatively little is known about them (134-136). The specific rhetorical strategies analyzed in this work include: the authors' use of lexicon, dialogue/dialect, development of the hero, authorial intent, time sequence, treatment of women, and humor. Language itself is the consistent underlying focus of this study. The second goal of this dissertation is to establish that the eight war novels examined represent, in microcosm, the twentieth-century American novel genre as a whole. Two novels from each of the major twentieth-century American wars are analyzed. To unify the authors of a given war in terms of cultural, social, and political climate, each novel must have been published within ten years of the specific war's ending date. In order to thoroughly explore the effect a certain war has on its contemporary war literature, of the two novels analyzed for each conflict, one will take place in a combat setting and the other in a noncombatant zone. This variance will allow for greater diversity of the war novel genre as a whole while at the same time continuing to limit this study to war novels written within a certain time period. Validated by the scholarly attention and approval given to them, the novels included in this work are: Three Soldiers, by John Dos Passos, and The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway (World War I); The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer, and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, by Sloan Wilson (World War II); The Bridges at Toko-Ri, by James Michener, and Court Martial, by Jack Ehrlich (Korean War); Going After Cacciato, by Tim O'Brien, and In Country, by Bobbi Ann Mason (Vietnam War). Taken together, I believe these books reflect the trends and evolutions of the American novel genre in this century.