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Most of us have only experienced war through books or the media. However, war is a lot more than that, especially for the people who had experienced war personally. The memories of the hardship and difficulty they experienced are firmly imprinted in their minds for the rest of their lives.

It is indeed sad that leaders of certain countries quickly declare war whenever there is conflict between two countries. In the past, leaders of countries were seldom concerned with maintaining good relationships with their neighbors but were more interested in gaining more power by conquering other cities. This is why there have been two world wars in the first fifty years of the twentieth century.

War may occur because of various reasons, but more often than not, the reason of war is quickly forgotten amidst the tragedy of it. The amount of destruction that takes place during war is massive and once started, war spreads like a disease and rarely achieves anything.

Many have questioned the necessity of war, especially because of the huge number of towns and cities that are destroyed and people who are killed. The people who call for war are usually the leaders of the country. Ironically, they are also the ones who are safely and comfortably protected in their homes when war happens. The people who come forward and are prepared to sacrifice their lives are the common people, who are also the ones to suffer from the shortage of food and water that is inevitable in any war.

During the Japanese Occupation that occurred in Singapore during the Second World War, many Singaporeans experienced great hardship and countless others lost their lives. It was only until atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did the Japanese surrender. Where previous methods had failed, the bombs were successful in ending the war. What was sad, however, was the fact that so many Japanese people had to die because their leaders had been so thirsty for power. It could have been avoided if they had chosen to surrender earlier.

   
Answer the following questions using complete sentences
  1. What does the writer mean by 'Most of us have only experienced war through books or the media' (paragraph 1)?
  2. What does the phrase 'firmly imprinted' (paragraph 1) suggest about the memories of those who have experienced war ?
  3. Why were there two world wars in the first half of the twentieth century ?
  4. What does the writer mean by 'the reason of war is quickly forgotten' (paragraph 3) ?
  5. Explain why the writer compares war to a 'disease' (paragraph 3).
  6. Why have people 'questioned the necessity of war' (paragraph 4)?
  7. Why do you think people went forward to fight despite the obvious risks of war ?
  8. Explain clearly the irony the writer talks about in paragraph 4.
  9. What does the writer mean by using the word 'inevitable' (paragraph 4)?
  10. What does 'it' in paragraph 5 refer to ?
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Answers
 

1.

He means that most people have only read about war or seen films about war but have not personally experienced war.
 

2.

They will not be able to forget the events that happened during the war.
 

3.

Leaders of countries attacked one another as they wanted to increase their power.
 

4.

He means that once war begins, people will be too caught up with its effects to remember why they were fighting in the first place.
 

5.

War spreads quickly and its effects are usually fatal.
  6. War leads to the mass destruction of cities and a loss of lives, as well as a shortage of resources, which seem too big a sacrifice for the objective of starting a war.
  7. They do so because of their loyalty to their leaders/country.
  8. He means that it is contradictory that those who called for war are safe from the effects while those who suffer are those who had no say in the decision.
  9. He means that shortage of food and water cannot be avoided during a war.
  10. It refers to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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