being a job and not a vocation

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Blue Apple

Senior Member
Persian (Iran)
Does "being a soldier being a job and not a vocation" in the following text mean "being a soldier is only a job that you might like or not like it and it is not some kind of activity that you really love it and change your life for it. Therefore, whenever you find the opportunity you will forget being a soldier and will return to your everyday life"? The best substitute that I can find for "vocation" is "goal" in this context, because "vocation" and "job" look very similar in dictionaries. I think it can mean "being a soldier is only a job and not a goal or life style".

Context:
The Three Graces (1991) and Sunbathing Sergeants (1991) reconceptualize the first Gulf War. In the latter canvas, the sergeants are virtually naked women, one sunbathing and the other smoking a cigarette in the desert. Behind them oil fires burn, and in the left foreground a gun rests on a pile of military gear. In this work, Lane is making a point about being a soldier being a job and not a vocation. When you are not clocked in to fight, so to speak, a regular life of leisure continues, even if the world is on fire (Art and War by Laura Brandon).
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    That interpretation is reasonable, Blue Apple. "A vocation" should be a job that you have a real passion or calling for. A job is merely a job.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Your struggle is real, because the author’s point is crazy.

    Even the most passionate of vocational workers (e.g. medics or teachers) have some leisure time. Who works 24/7 on their job? Maybe a saint? Not anyone merely mortal.
     
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