Death Of A Soldier By Louisa May Alcott Essay

Death Of A Soldier By Louisa May Alcott Essay

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It was the time of the Civil War. Violence and death was consuming the United States at an alarming rate, separation was growing more forcibly, and the nation was being torn apart by differing beliefs of what was best for the country at that time. As the the war grew bloodier, many wounded soldiers were admitted into hospitals at such great quantities that they were often overlooked and not given the optimum care that they needed, until one nurse decided to give a bit of tenderness and compassion to a soldier in a time of despair. In an excerpt from Louisa May Alcott’s book Hospital Sketches, she creates a sentimental retelling of the tragic death of a soldier she care for named John. “Death of a Soldier” is an emotionally gripping narration of an encounter that forever changed Alcott’s life. Her emotionally investing story allows the reader to connect with the piece and further identify with the same feelings that she had during that moment in time. Alcott’s use of captivating language and beautiful imagery enhances the effect that the reader experiences after learning about the enduring memory of the fallen soldier that forever remains in her heart.
Her alluring language is one of the many ways she draws in the reader, but an in depth analysis of the different aspects of language she uses helps prove why her piece is so successful at creating a strong emotional effect on the audience. The tone of the entire piece of writing is noticeably compassionate and sentimental; Alcott emphasizes this tonality in a beautiful way as she tenderly describes the events leading up to John’s death and carefully selects her words to accomplish this feeling. Alcott is remembering this event in her life with a sheer admiration for the soldier and ...


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...tore the covering off his breast, as if the lightest weight added to his agony” (Alcott 3). By now, the audience is realizing that John is in a very deplorable condition and is unlikely to recover. The feelings of desperation and helplessness are intensified in the audience because there is nothing left to do but wait until John’s moment of passing. Although this sad time is not unfamiliar to many of the people reading, the audience is compelled to recall this personal even from their memories. Revisiting that time helps them connect with Louisa May Alcott because the reader is able to think of how they felt in that situation and compare it to their own. The reader joins Alcott in this difficult process with a constant reminder of their own experience. Furthermore, her ending thoughts in the piece also take the reader through familiar events after the death of John.

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