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War is Kind - Stephen Crane - Essay Example

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The poem begins with the words ‘do not’ that imply negativity and ends with the word ‘kind’ that generates positivity. This is the best way to describe the ways of the world that is run through the pair of opposites like darkness and light, happiness and sorrow, cruelty and kindness etc. …
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War is Kind - Stephen Crane
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Corroborating this, the poet writes: “Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom-- A field where a thousand corpses lie”. This is the unending story of wars.
The tone of the poem is sarcastic but it is not sarcasm alone but mixed with helplessness of the situation created by war. Apart from the material destruction caused by war which can be replenished, what can never be recouped are the loss of precious lives and the soldier leaves the memories of what has been and what never more will be for his immediate family members, acquaintances and the society at large. As such when the poet mentions that “war is kind” one must understand the hidden meaning of cruel kindness ingrained in the process of war. One death in the family is like the introduction of the muffled drum in the melodious symphony of an orchestra. The poet reveals this situation by introducing an element of sarcasm specifically in the lines fourteen through sixteen: “Raged at his breast, gulped and died, Do not weep. War is kind”.
When two unrelated words or having contradictory connotations are employed together in structure, but they give a dissimilar meaning, it is a case of oxymoron. Some of the examples in this poem are: “virtue of slaughter”, “excellence of killing”, “splendid shroud”, “drill and die” and “blazing flag”. In this poem the poet has made the judicious use of oxymoron and the contrast is effective and likeable and the words the poet has placed together generate vivid meanings. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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