The Harshness of War Effects Soldiers, As Well As the People Close to Them in “The Wound Dresser” and “Wars is Kind” @”The Wound Dresser” by Walt Whitman and “War is Kind” by Stephen Crane, are both sad yet beautifully poetic works of art that focus on the harshness of war with many similarities displayed in diverse ways like tone, writing style, theme, and how the author’s individual experiences with war have helped create these works of art. @First, both “The Wound Dresser” and “War is Kind” are similar in theme when describing the harshness of war.
Both poems describe the harshness of the civil war and ow it affects those who are close to the soldiers who have been wounded or have died. “The Wound Dresser” and “War is Kind” describes the harshness of war in theme in vivid and gruesome detail. For example, “War is Kind” describes the civil war and its effects on three women. These three women are related to the soldiers who have passed away and have left them behind. The three women related to the fallen soldiers are a mother, a daughter, and a wife. The theme of this poem is that war is gruesome and sad and the effects of war also wound the families of the fallen soldiers.
The narrator helps support the harshness of war theme by using a repetition phrase like “Do not weep, War is kind. ” (Baym, 619-621) The narrator repeats this phrase after he speaks to each woman and about their loved one’s death in battle. The main theme is supported by many in-text examples of the gruesome nature of war in “War is Kind,” by describing, in detail, how each soldier dies. For example, the narrator describes how one soldier was wounded in battle by stating, “Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches, Raged at his breast, gulped and died, Do not weep.
War is kind. @Much like the theme in “War is Kind,” “The Wound Dresser” shares the same harsh nature of war theme. “The Wound Dresser” describes the horrors of the soldiers who fought during the civil war and the wounds he dresses at a military hospital. Many of these wounds suffered by the soldiers are described in gruesome detail, which helps support the harshness of war theme. In the poem, the narrator speak to the young people about the harsh and gruesome effects war has on the soldiers and how those experiences have affected him mentally.
The narrator describes the harshness of war and how t has affected him by speaking to a wounded soldier and stating, “I never knew you, Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you, if that would save you. ” (Baym, 72) This example displays the narrator’s tremendous courage and selflessness to willingly give up his own life a so a boy he has never met could live, thus supporting the harsh nature of war theme. @Secondly, most stories that involve war are sad and depressing, these same tones can be seen in both poems when describing their interactions with the soldiers and the family of the fallen.
The Wound Dresser” starts off with some young eople asking a veteran to rehash some of his war stories of glory and honor, however, the veteran tells them of his stories in a military hospital. (Baym, 71) The narrator tells them about all the soldiers he cared for and all the horrors he saw while he was there. The narrator talks how about how each soldier he took care of meant something special to him and how he hated to see them in the situation that they were in. The narrator also supports the sad and depressing tone by describing, in detail, how each soldier received their wounds and how he patched them up.
The last stanza of the poem helps support the tone of the story by stating, “Thus in silence in dreams’ projections, Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals, The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand, I sit by the restless all the dark night, some are so young, Some suffer so much, I recall the experience sweet and sad, (Many a soldier’s loving arms about this neck have cross’d and rested, Many a soldier’s kiss dwells on these bearded lips. ” (Baym, 73) The narrator supports the sad and depressing tone using this example to remember all the soldiers who have ugged him and kissed him in thanks, some for dressing their wounds, others because they were thankful for him being there even on the verge of the soldier’s death. @The Tone of the poem “War is kind” shares the same sad and depressing tone as “The Wound Dresser”, however, “War is Kind” is a little sarcastic in the poem towards war. The tone is expressed through the tears and sorrows of the three women who lost their loved ones in battle.
This poem demonstrates a compassionate view towards the three women who lost their loved ones. For example, the narrator states “Do not weep, maiden, for war is ind. Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky And the affrighted steed ran on alone, Do not weep. War is kind. ” (Baym, 619) The poem demonstrates sarcasm towards war and the gruesome nature of it. The sarcasm in the poem is not used to make light of the situation but rather used to make the tone of the story more depressing. Furthermore, “The Wound Dresser” and “War is Kind”, share many similarities when it comes to writing style like structure, voice, and literary techniques. First, “The Wound Dresser” is a 65-line free verse poem describing the narrator’s experience as a volunteer in a ilitary hospital. “The Wound Dresser” is a first-person-narrative style poem reflecting on the narrator’s experience as a volunteer at a military hospital. The narrative style of writing in these poems, allows the reader to get an understanding of the narrator’s backstory and allows the reader to venture back in the narrator’s flashbacks.
The narrator demonstrates how hard it is to talk about these flashbacks when the kids ask him to tell them about his war stories by stating, “Years looking backward resuming in answer to children, Come tell us old man, as from young men and maidens that ove me, (Arous’d and angry, l’d thought to beat the alarum, and urge relentless war, But soon my fingers fail’d me, my face droop’d and I resign’d myself. ” (Baym, 71) @Much like its counterpart “The Wound Dresser”, “War is Kind” displays some very. similar writing techniques.
The poem “War is kind is a 26 line, five stanzas poem, who focuses on the loss of three women whose loved one fell in the war. This poem is sarcastic towards war and yet compassionate towards the three women. The sarcasm of the poem can be seen in the repetitive verse “war is kind. (Baym, 619-621) Knowing that war is unkind, the author demonstrates this sarcasm to draw out a sad and depressing emotion in the reader and an understanding that war is useless. “War is Kind” uses first person to tell the three women not to weep because their loved ones have died.
The narrator also uses flashback to remember how each soldier died. @Lastly, the individual experiences of Walt Whitman, the author of “The Wound Dresser,” and the author of “War is Kind,” Stephen Crane, are sad and gruesome in detail, however, these experiences allowed them to write beautiful works of poetry. First off, the author of “War is Kind”, Stephen Crane, received firsthand knowledge of the horrors of war. Not only did Crane witness these atrocity’s, he also had to document these events as well.
Crane served as journalist on the front lines in both Greece and Cuba in 1896. (Bloom, 1) These experiences led Crane to have a sarcastic view of war and how useless it was and even led to use this same thought process in “War is Kind. “. Crane saw many aspects of war including battles, death, and wounded soldiers. Crane also saw the effects of war when it came to the family members of soldiers. These individual xperiences of war and the how war affects family members helped Crane write “War is Kind. These experiences helped shape the poetic work of “War is Kind”. @During the Civil War, Walt Whitman volunteered at a Washington D. C. military hospital. (Casale and Bloom, 158) Whitman volunteered at the hospital where he dressed the wounds of many soldiers while working as a clerk.
Whitman wrote “The Wound Dresser” to describe all the horrors he witnessed in the hospital and how each soldier that died in his care still haunt his very dreams. In fact, Whitman’s friend William D. O’ Conor urged him to use his xperiences to write a book based on his experiences. Roy, 4) Even though many of these horrors would haunt Whitman for life, these experiences led to one of American literature most famous poetic works of art. @Finally, both poems display the gruesome nature of war and how it affects everyone. both poems demonstrate vividly the harshness of war by using messages that deal with the effects of war, the sad tone, the writing style and how the author’s individual experiences helped shape these poems into American Literature greatest poetic works of art describing the harshness of war.