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The Outrage of War

Essay - The Outrage of War In literature, similar themes are portrayed in many different ways, mostly according to the time period they were written in. A new generation of writers came of age after the civil war, known as the realists. They dominated American fiction from the late nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. They took their ideas from the slums of the rapidly growing cities at that time, from the factories replacing farmland, and from the every day common people: poor factory workers, corrupt politicians, soldiers, and even prostitutes. Realists sought to accurately portray real life. One of those Realist writers was Stephen Crane (1871-1900).In the short story “A Mystery of Heroism” and his poem “War is Kind” Stephen Crane uses irony and sarcasm to effectively portray his attitudes about war and to mock Romantic heroism.In the story, at first sight no one could be called a hero. There are many characteristics that mark a true hero, someone that stands up for his beliefs and dies for it if he has to, not just dying in war or in a horrible way. The motive is what truly counts. In “Mystery”, Collins is just a symbol for the common crowd. He strives for the feeling of heroism by doing something courageous. He is one of many, but definitely no hero. The passing of the battlefield to get to the water could just be seen as the war scene itself. There are no heroes; we all do what we have to do. “…Human expression had said loudly for centuries that men should feel afraid of certain things and that all men who did not feel this fear were phenomena, heroes. He was then a hero...After all, heroes were not much” (Mystery, p.490). This quote is totally ironical, because it shows that being a hero, in a romantic way, does not take much. Doing something courageous, dangerous, and something adventurous without showing fear. It is mocking romantic heroes, because it says th...

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