Analysis Of Stephen Crane's "War Is Kind"



My first impression of the poem "War Is Kind" by Stephen Crane (1871-1900) was that this young man had experienced the ferocity of war in all of its intensity. Published in the year of 1899 at the same time when America was rejoicing with the conclusion of its victorious foreign involvement, The Spanish-American War. This war, depicted by the newspapers as a glorious adventure, was countermanded by Crane's poetry.
In 1895 his publication of the book "The Red Badge of Courage", an impressionistic story of a young soldier trying to find out what was real and not real, during a fierce battle of the American Civil War, brought him international acclaim. The book's hero survives his own fear ...

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for The New York Journal newspaper. It was during these two conflicts that he perhaps drew the conclusion that war was not a glorious thing and only the purveyor of the slaughter of young men.
His graphic description of a soldier shot from his mount in the first stanza shows his contempt for the acts of war.
Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

I found it especially disturbing, when the author addresses the grieving mate or lover that will be left behind and alone because of the death of her man. He does depict the typical Hollywood scene of a gallant soldier violently dismounted and mortally wounded from his mount during a fierce battle, his hands rising to the sky as he falls. Crane brilliantly shows us a picture of the riderless, hysterical steed running at a rapid pace from the landscape of the conflict.
The second stanza concentrates on the regiment of ...

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Do not weep, babe for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind

This is a very poignant part of his work. I could ask the question, "Is the poet speaking about a real child of this soldier or perhaps referring to the unborn children of the thousands of soldiers that have died in all the worlds conflicts?" His description of the soldier's death is proper and extremely vivid. It paints a clear picture in my mind of the sheer agony and terror of dying in this manner.
The fourth stanza points out the indomitable use of symbolism in order to pilot men into killing each other in battle.

Swift ...

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Added: 7/1/2006 04:58:04 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1323
Pages: 5

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