Blood on a Battlefield in A Mystery of Heroism by Stephen Crane

570 Words2 Pages
Often times war is depicted in a victorious, triumphant manner when in reality war is chaotic; full of destruction and death. In Stephen Crane’s “A Mystery of Heroism” and Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge,” we witness the harsh reality of the war and the common human reaction to the havoc. Fred Collins simply wants water, but the well is on the other side of the battlefield. Peyton Farquhar, a loyal civilian to the South, just wanted to help in the war but instead was hanged for his good-intentioned attempt to destroy the bridge to help the Confederates. Ambrose Bierce and Stephen Crane wrote “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge” and “A Mystery of Heroism” to show the natural human condition in adverse situations. In ‘A Mystery of Heroism,” Stephen Crane opens his story with specific details of a war scene. He writes, “He could now be seen lying face downward with a stirruped foot stretched across the body of his dead horse” and “around this motionless pair the shells still howled.” This scene describes how there are dead soldiers and horses just lying around in the middle of the turmoil. That man is just another dead body to everyone else. This shows the reality of war, violent and deadly and definitely not the pretty picture some paint it to be. Later on in the story, Crane also writes “a lieutenant of the battery rode down and passed them, holding his right arm carefully in his left hand. And it was as if his arm was not at all part of him, but belonged
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