Analysis Of Chickamagua By Ambrose Bierce

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In the short story “Chickamagua” written by Ambrose Bierce, the author follows a young six-year-old boy with no name and a hearing and speech impediment’s journey throughout the mist of an ongoing dreadful war. Ambrose describes and narrates the story in an omniscient third-person view, which is important to note because he is partially influenced by his own experiences of war; specially the Civil War. The central idea and theme being portrayed in this story is how the destruction and chaos of war destroys this young adolescence’s innocence by being introduced to war first hand. To characterize and depict this, Ambrose uses literary elements such as imagery and symbolism to further his points. He really wants to drive home how this boy’s romanticism for war can be turned upside down, especially when directly affected by war. Ambrose puts the boy’s disconnection with reality into perspective by initially describing him as a “child [who] strayed away from its rude home in a small field and entered a forest unobserved” and as someone who “in bodies” his ancestors thirst for “discovery and conquest”, alluding to the fact that he is carelessly determined to explore (405). This irresponsible and carefree attitude sets the tone for how the boy responds to war first hand. As the story progresses further, the boy ends up falling asleep in the woods and later wakes up too an army marching forward towards battle. The boy naively sees this as a game and joins in, only to experience the
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