Gavroche and the Great War: Soldier Gouaille and the Legend of the Poilu
This article describes the use of soldier Gouaille or cocky humour in the construction of a consensual typology of the French infantry soldier (Poilu) of the First World War. Drawing on a variety of nineteenth-century literary models, including that of the gamin de Paris, Great War novelists depicted the Poilu as a clever, resourceful, Parisian working-class grumbler and joker. In so doing, they created a model of soldier heroism and of republican patriotism that would have a wide national appeal and that would inform representations of the soldier throughout the twentieth century.
Murphy, Libby. 2009. "Gavroche and the Great War: Soldier Gouaille and the Legend of the Poilu." Journal Of War And Culture Studies 2(2): 121-133.
Journal of War and Culture Studies
French and Italian
First World War, Soldier, France, Poilu, Novels, Humor