The Artillery Man's Vision Summary

Decent Essays
In "The Artillery Man’s Vision.” Whitman fulfilled his purpose of demonstrating both the impacts of the Civil War on those who participated through artilleryman’s flashback, along with reporting the disorderly, chaotic nature of the Civil War.

"The Artillery Man’s Vision” begins by introducing both the setting and an unknown Confederate or Union soldier. The opening line “While my wife at my side lies slumbering, and the wars are over long, / And my head on the pillow rests at home, and the vacant midnight passes” (1-2) establishes the poem’s time and location. Furthermore, both selections contribute to the overall tone and message, evident as the poem takes place after the war, yet the memories still seem to haunt the unnamed
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The comparison demonstrates the brutality of warfare; morale is shattered as quickly as artillery shards. The artilleryman later recalls: "I see the gaps cut by the enemy’s volleys, quickly fill up, no delay;/I breathe the suffocating smoke—then the flat clouds hover low, concealing all" (15-16). The effects of grapeshot are outlined, with the enemy ranks cut down and quickly filled up repeatedly, including the suffering of the enemy also applies to the suffocating of the artilleryman. Expressly, Whitman exemplifies the Civil War's turmoil through multiple comparisons, metaphors and explicit descriptions in hopes of providing the reader the ability to understand feelings of suffering endured by those fighting in a battle.

Whitman also captures the chaos of war through the structure of the poem, descriptions of the battle will rapidly change throughout. For example, the artilleryman would first describe a distant victory: "While from some distant part of the field the wind wafts to my ears a shout of applause, (some special success,)" (19), moreover jumping to recalling the sound of cannons: "And ever the sound of the cannon, far or near" (20), ultimately, to describing the shift of army compositions as "And ever the hastening of infantry shifting positions—batteries, cavalry, moving hither and thither" (21). Primarily, the artilleryman never concentrates upon a specific element of the battle, intimating an atmosphere of chaos. Since the poem is written in the
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