Chickamauga; Editha: Tales of Anti-Romanticism Essay

Chickamauga; Editha: Tales of Anti-Romanticism Essay

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For many, war has quite an ugly face, yet there are those who seem to view war through rose petal spectacles, hear of its successes in lullabies and speak of its necessity with words dripping with honey. During the eighteenth century, a burgeoning art of literature took hold on the populace, it colored reality in such a manner that one would “fall in love” with it – Romanticism, a term loosely applied to literary and artistic movements of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, Romanticism is:
A literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century, characterized chiefly by a reaction against neoclassicism and an emphasis on the imagination and emotions, and marked especially in English literature by sensibility and the use of autobiographical material, an exaltation of the primitive and the common man, an appreciation of external nature, an interest in the remote, a predilection for melancholy, and the use in poetry of older verse forms.
During the time period that Ambrose Bierce and William Dean Howells lived, war was a part of life. Both the US Civil War and the Spanish –American War were realities they had to deal with and as realists they set out to highlight the truths of warfare. Their disillusionment with the romanticism’s approach about war in literature was expressed in their popular works, “Chickamauga” and “Editha”. Both authors use the “strong” points of romanticism against itself, the usage of symbolism, along with the role of gender are replete throughout the two short stories.
In his book The Ethics of Moral Resistance: Ambrose Bierce and General William B. Haze; author Peter J. Marrone, states “[…] Bierce’s primary intention in compos...


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Johnston, Christopher F. "'A Man, So Very Nearly Perfect': William Dean Howells'
'Editha', The Spanish American War, And American Masculinity In The Late Nineteenth Century." Journal Of War & Culture Studies 5.3 (2012): 249. Supplemental Index. Web. 9 Mar. 2014.
Morrone, Peter J. "The Ethics Of Moral Resistance: Ambrose Bierce And General William
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