A Boy's Playing At War

Decent Essays

1. How does the boy’s playing at war comment on the motivation for adults to wage war? On the horrifying carnage of the battlefield? Consider what message about war the child has learned from his picture books. Just as the child did not understand the gravity of the situation, neither do adults, specifically the politicians who declare war. Perhaps just as the child’s upbringing prevented him from discerning whether a human was suffering or whether it was a game, adults that wage war have the same perspective. For example, when he observes the soldiers crawling on their knees it reminds him of his riding on the slaves backs at his house. What I am getting at is, just as the child was conquering imaginary enemies, the adults that wage war are letting their childish emotions affect the lives of thousands of people. The child’s distorted perception of the carnage on the battlefield is a direct result of his upbringing. Plenty of examples exist. To name a few; first, Bierce states, “… for this child’s spirit, in bodies of its ancestors, had for many thousands of years been trained to memorable feats of discovery and conquest – victories in …show more content…

It was heroic to serve your country on the battlefield and you will well respected for it. However, just as the child did not understand the situation, many others don’t as well. Their perception of war is far skewed from the actual reality, the role of Romanticism played a part in this ideology held by many. The brutal violence one is subject to experience as a soldier in war is unforgettable. Just as the deaf child, blind to his surroundings, saw nothing wrong with war until he arrived at his burning house to find his mother dead, a great deal of others don’t understand the gravity of the situation as well. Bierce concealed this fact until the end to delineate that war is not some not how Romanticists pictured it, once you experience it you will never be the

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