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Wartime and Changes on the Individual in the Billy Bishop Goes to War Play

4 pages
1086 words
Boston College
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Billy Bishop Goes to War is a magnificent play concerning how war transforms an individual. In the play, there are several ways in which Billy Bishop changes throughout the World War I. Some of the prominent ways in which Billy Bishop was transformed is the way he became a centered influence and thriving to fight and afterward becoming a legend. In the play, Billy Bishop is an ordinary person who becomes a worlds hero. He was a brave man and the most majestic fighter pilot to serve Canada albeit the war times. The basis of this paper is to outline Billy Bishops life before, his life during the war and the changes that happened to him. The paper will also describe Canada's involvement as a nation in times of conflict in the play.

Billy Bishop's path to success was not all that easy but full of obstacles. He experienced many difficulties all through his young life that later identified him as a brave military pilot and a genuine hero. Billy Bishop faced an inconceivably harsh task to living his dream of being Canada's greatest ace. Billy Bishop experienced a harsh time during his school life at Owen Sound Collegiate. His schoolmates particularly young men expressed several jokes about him and therefore preferred the company of girls. Nevertheless, his outrage and fits awarded him acceptance on the school ground. Born on eighth February 1984, Billy Bishop grew up as a great nature boy. When he reached 17 years old, his parents sent him to Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario as a result of his unremarkable grade in school which his father was sure that he would not get a placement at the University of Toronto.

Billy Bishop was not a scholarly student and while in the third year in high school he was caught while cheating on a class examination. The incidence of exam cheating made him the subject of controversies for quite some time. Billy Bishop's life was bewildering as he was such as a strikingly incredible fighter ace. He had shot down 72 adversary flying aircrafts. One reason why his life was so commendable was that he was granted the Victoria Cross. The Victoria Cross is only given to great soldiers with the most discernible bravery, boldness, the determination as well as expertise. Apart from the Victoria Cross, Billy also won several other medals for bravery: nevertheless, there is no such a terrific medal as the Victoria Cross.

Billy Bishop did not begin his career as a fighter pilot. He started as an officer with the Mississauga Horse who was a cavalry regiment. In his role as an officer, Billy Bishop was disappointed the mud in the trenches and lack of action in his position. Therefore he decided to shift from being an officer to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). Royal Flying Corps was the place where his success began. Shortly after joining the Royal Flying Corps, he was able to shoot several planes and afterward promoted to a fighter pilot where he developed his career as a successful fighter pilot.

One of the ways that war transforms an individual is that once a person gets into a war, they become more determined to fight. The pilot fighters try to shoot down as many planes as possible to win the battle. For instance, Billy Bishop takes a close look at war before and after it begins. Before the war, Billy Bishop said, "The hospital is nice. Billy Bishop went ahead to say that people do not aim to shoot at others and also expressed his wishes of having spent the rest of his life in the battle field. Subsequently, when he was informed that he was left with only seven days to fly, he was eager to go out and shoot as many planes as possible: According to Billy Bishop, he took the warning positively and challenged himself to win more battles despite having just a week. As it has been demonstrated when individuals go to war, it may become habit-forming, and the fighters may become obsessive with winning. One more way that war changes a person is seen by the way Billy Bishop entered the war with a negative attitude of believing that he could become a hero but eventually turned out as one. Moreover, Billy Bishop learned how to lead. He also earned the endorsement of Lady St. Helier. For example, in the play Lady St. Helier describes him as a dignitary

Canada as a nation is greatly involved in the play, Billy Bishop Goes to war.' In the play, Billy Bishop was officially awarded 72 victories, therefore becoming the top Canadian ace of the war. In 1917, Billy Bishop honored as a hero on his return to Canada where he assisted in enhancing the morale of the Canadian people, who were frustrated by the conflicts and the war. The government of Canada was progressively becoming anxious about the impact on morale if Bill Bishop were to die in the war. Therefore, he was commanded to return to the country where he assisted in arranging new Canadian Flying Corps. Billy Bishop was not delighted with the order given to return home soon from France by noon. Billy Bishop wrote to his wife saying that the order was very annoying. Early that morning, Billy Bishop resolved to fly alone for one last time and in only fifteen minutes of action, he was able to acquire five more victories. During the last fight in France, he affirmed to have downed two Pfalz.IIIa scouts made two more to clash with one other and shot down a German exploration aircraft.


The paper has discussed in details the early life of Billy Bishop before becoming a fighter pilot. Also, discussed in work is how a person is transformed when he goes into war. Additionally, the paper has outlined Billy bishops contributions to the Canadian republic in his career. Billy Bishop grew up as an ordinary person, but his life was later transformed by the war and later became a hero and an inspiration to many generations of aces. As seen in the play, Billy Bishop also contributed greatly to Canada during the World War II. For example, he generated a framework for training pilots throughout Canada and hence became influential lying up and promoting the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The system trained more than 167,000 airmen in the country albeit the Second World War. Billy Bishop was an assertive fighter pilot as a result of his daring character


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