Stephen Crane's War Is Kind

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The Civil War was an incredibly crucial but violent piece of America’s history. Taking place in 1861, the war was fought between the Northern and Southern states—Union and Confederacy (Civil War 2017). The primary issue being waged over was the need for slavery since it grossly mistreated and abused African Americans. Finally, after four long years—full of catastrophic casualties on both sides—the war ceased, and slaves were freed. Interestingly enough, the war’s impact spread beyond just slavery but affected the tone of American literature. War is Kind, by Stephen Crane, is just one of many examples of literature that became less about imaginative ideas, but rather focused on life—and the horrors that come with it.
Stephen Crane was born on November 1st in Newark, New
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The poem smoothly cruises through the monstrosities that are commonly associated with war; then—almost mockingly— he ends each reference with a simple “war is kind”. Additionally, multiple phrases are said that seem to lighten what war means, and at the same time plead for the reader to remember that war is rather a friend than foe. “A field where a thousand corpses lie. Do not weep, babe, for war is kind”. This line speaks of a field littered with dead and wounded soldiers and instead of discussing the natural responses to such a sight—grief or sorrow—the narrator steamrolls the reader asks for one to wipe their tears and remember that war is simply kind. It’s almost as if the writer is capitalizing off the notion that being constantly surrounded by destruction and chaos can cause people to become desensitized to the real ramifications of war. Therefore, this poem purposefully draws on that by highlighting a plethora of things that should invoke reactions but then paints the events in ways that invoke peace and calm instead—polar opposites of emotions usually associated with
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