A Critical Analysis Of Mark Twain's 'War Prayer'

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A Critical Analysis of “War Prayer” Analyzing any piece of literature takes more than just that piece itself. In order to accurately and critically analyze literature, the reader must have an understanding of the author as a whole. The reader will be able to better interpret the work they read by know who the author is, where they came from, the time period in which they grew up, the places they’ve lived, their love life and so much more. Having an idea of all these areas will give the reader a better chance at understanding why the writer is writing and the message they’re trying to convey as well as understanding the emotions and feelings associated with the work. With regards to critical approaches to literature, sociological criticism is the most relevant to “War Prayer” by Mark Twain because it focuses on cultural, economic, and political context which are some of the themes in this piece of literature. The world knows him as Mark Twain but, this individual was actually born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri but later was relocated (along with his family) to Hannibal, Missouri which happens be adjacent to the Mississippi River. Twain lived in this area prior to the Civil War and as a result was able to experience certain things that will never be forgotten. As stated in his biography, “His youth was typical of life in a fluid, diverse, yet morally exacting community in a chaotic period” (American Literature, 53). The onset of the Civil War created tensions
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