Walt Whitman and Drumtaps

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Walt Whitman and Drumtaps

War is hell; there is no other way to put it. No matter how many times bards romanticize war and battle, there is that ultimate, inherent ugliness involved in the business of killing. There is no honor or heroism in dying for your country, you just die, it is a great tragedy and there is nothing you can do about it. Mortality is always present on both sides fighting the battle; there will continuously be casualties. Suffering, misery and destitution are constant whether on the march, sitting in the trench or charging across no man's land. The pain is felt on both warring sides, everyone suffers, war brings nothing but anguish, joy and happiness are non-existent. No one rejoices war, unless they are zealous over a cause, then they are just crazy. Historians consider the War of the States as one of the bloodiest conflicts of all time. Through the eyes of a hospital attendant, there must have been nothing but row after row of cots containing the dead or dying. Walt Whitman was a hospital attendant who treated many soldiers, and watched many of them suffer as they died. In his collection of poetry "Drum-Taps", Whitman conveys the pain and suffering endured by the north and south in the Civil War to express the pointlessness and destructiveness of the war.

In this collection of poetry, Whitman expresses how meaningless the slaughter is in order to expound the total futility and pointlessness of the war. Everyone who was killed in the War of the States was an American. Everyone involved is a human being and a member of the same country. If members of the same country bicker against each other, what is the end result? Nothing, nothing is gained, nothing is benefited; Whitman mourns this by coming to "b...

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.... As said by Whitman, war is nothing to sing song of praise s about or glorify. There is ultimately no purpose to warfare, everyone suffers, it is essentially a no-win scenario. It is the desires of men, their insatiable greed for land, wealth and power that moves them to send wave after wave of human beings, without blinking, into the meat grinder. The end result of all these periods of warfare, corruption and essential "human-quality" of our lifestyles is the type of life we live right now, how we are surrounded by luxury yet the rest of the world is not so fortunate to be so rich and living the good life. Why wouldn't we be portrayed as greedy devils trying to steal what little other nations have? It is the "the cost of my desire, sleep now in the fire".


Works Cited

Whitman, Walt. "Drum-Taps." Norton's Anthology. NY, 1999: 133-140

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