Reality of War in Crane's War is Kind and Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade

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Reality of War in Crane's War is Kind and Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade

An overwhelming tendency to fight and battle has plagued humankind since the dawn of the written word. Countless wars have been fought since the dawn of man and most times such conflict exists simply for its own sake with no productive end. Immense human suffering and death can be caused by conflicts that hold little logical justification. Since the birth of the written word, criticism and discussion have persistently followed the topic of war. In exposing the grim reality of war, two works of literature stand out as being both vivid and compelling. Through similar uses of graphic imagery and forceful diction, both Stephen Crane in his "Do Not
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None of them wished to die, but many would inevitably rest on "a field where a thousand copses lie" (11). Crane next describes a father who "raged at his breast, gulped and died" (14) to further highlight the pain of death and loss caused by a war. Just as the woman lost her lover, a child lost her father and neither man died willingly or peacefully. Both men rather struggled and raged against death. Through such graphic imagery, Crane shows the reader a glimpse of the pain inherent in war.

In addition to imagery, Crane skillfully juxtaposes two contrasting words to mock society's perception of war. In the best example of this juxtaposition, Crane echoes his title "war is kind" to defame war through sarcasm. The "virtue of slaughter" and "the excellence of killing" further belittle war's grandeur. Such contrasting phrases create a tone of acerbity in the poem, as Crane mocks the glory in war that so many younger, more innocent minds admire. Through conveying the fact that there exists neither virtue in slaughter nor excellence in killing, Crane affirms that war has no bright side and glory is a foolish goal. Crane's word choice adds greatly to the bitter taste of his poem.

Crane emphasizes his distaste for war through a repeated, continuous use of sarcasm. "The man who wrote it was profoundly weary" with war (Lowell 2). Crane creates the image of a horse running off while its fallen rider lies on the battlefield dying, and then states that
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