Reality of War in Crane's War is Kind and Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade

Reality of War in Crane's War is Kind and Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade

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Reality of War in Crane's War is Kind and Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade  

    An overwhelming tendency to fight and battle has plagued humankind since the dawn of the written word. Countless wars have been fought since the dawn of man and most times such conflict exists simply for its own sake with no productive end. Immense human suffering and death can be caused by conflicts that hold little logical justification. Since the birth of the written word, criticism and discussion have persistently followed the topic of war. In exposing the grim reality of war, two works of literature stand out as being both vivid and compelling. Through similar uses of graphic imagery and forceful diction, both Stephen Crane in his "Do Not Weep, Maiden, for War is Kind" and Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his "The Charge of the Light Brigade" evoke strong sentiment on the reality of war. "The Charge" offers a slightly more glorified view of war while still portraying its harsh essence.


    Stephen Crane in his "Do Not Weep, Maiden, for War is Kind" uses several methods to convey his perception of war; most strikingly, stark imagery. As the poem begins, a woman cries over the death of her lover who, while left to die on the battlefield, "threw wild hands toward the sky" (2). His posture illustrates the physical pain he experienced as well as the longing he felt for his lover and his lost life (Cady 102). He threw his hands toward the sky in a vain effort to reach out to her and the life that had been taken from him. Crane's next stanza portrays an image of troops marching to their death, men "born to drill and die" (8). Crane endeavors to show the blind trust that soldiers are forced to place in their leaders. The soldiers knew li...

... middle of paper ...

... popular phenomenon when it forces people to make great sacrifices that lead to no sufficiently important goal.



Works Cited


Cady, Edwin H. Stephen Crane. Twayne Publishers. 1980: 100-160

Foltinek, Herbert. "'Their's Not to Reason Why': Alfred Lord Tennyson on the Human Condition." A Yearbook of Studies in English Language and Literature 80 1985-1986: 27-38

Knapp, Bettina L. Stephen Crane. New York: Ungar Publishing Company, 1987. 136-140

Lowell, Amy. "Introduction" in The Black Riders and Other Lines. Vol. VI Russel & Russel. 1963: ix-xxix

Pinion, F. B. A Tennyson Comparison: Life and Works. The Macmillan Press Ltd. 1984

Saintsbury, George. "Tennyson." Corrected Impressions: Essays on Victorian Writers. Dodd, Mead and Company. 1985: 21-30.

Whitman, Walt. "A Word about Tennyson." The Critic 10 Jan. 1987: 1-2



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