Themes and message

War and violence

War and violence are important themes in Hanif Kureishi’s short story “Weddings and Beheadings”. The events take place during a war, and from what the narrator tells us, the war is predicted to go on for a long time. What should be noted is that the short story does not refer to the war itself, but to the effects it has: the frequent executions, the city becoming “war-broken”, normal life events like weddings and graduations becoming rarer, and people such as the narrator being forced to give up their dreams and becoming involved in death and destruction against their will. War has become an everyday reality in the narrator’s existence, and so has the violence it causes. He is forced to become directly involved by filming the murders that the terrorists commit.

The story also makes references to the effects war and violence have on the reader. From the start, the narrator is sure that the readers are familiar with the videos he makes: “I would bet you’ve seen my work”. He also adds the videos can be found on the Internet. This suggest...

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