Chickamauga; Editha: Tales Of Anti Romanticism Essay

2135 words - 9 pages

For many, war has quite an ugly face, yet there are those who seem to view war through rose petal spectacles, hear of its successes in lullabies and speak of its necessity with words dripping with honey. During the eighteenth century, a burgeoning art of literature took hold on the populace, it colored reality in such a manner that one would “fall in love” with it – Romanticism, a term loosely applied to literary and artistic movements of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, Romanticism is:
A literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century, characterized chiefly by a reaction against neoclassicism and an emphasis on the imagination and emotions, and marked especially in English literature by sensibility and the use of autobiographical material, an exaltation of the primitive and the common man, an appreciation of external nature, an interest in the remote, a predilection for melancholy, and the use in poetry of older verse forms.
During the time period that Ambrose Bierce and William Dean Howells lived, war was a part of life. Both the US Civil War and the Spanish –American War were realities they had to deal with and as realists they set out to highlight the truths of warfare. Their disillusionment with the romanticism’s approach about war in literature was expressed in their popular works, “Chickamauga” and “Editha”. Both authors use the “strong” points of romanticism against itself, the usage of symbolism, along with the role of gender are replete throughout the two short stories.
In his book The Ethics of Moral Resistance: Ambrose Bierce and General William B. Haze; author Peter J. Marrone, states “[…] Bierce’s primary intention in composing his tales and autobiographical accounts was to highlight the diametrically opposing perceptions that soldiers and civilians hold towards war” (400). In “Chickamauga,” Bierce goes all out to shatter the romantic and rudimentary notions about war by presenting its morbid realities: He tells of a little boy who goes off into the woods to play war and be its hero. However, he is eventually jolted into the reality and ugliness of warfare and to his misadventure, life will never be the same. Bierce accomplishes this with such grimacing success that one cannot help having a moment of silence for the boy in the story after reading the closing scene. Captured in this particular scene is the proverbial “collateral damage” of warfare:
For a moment he stood stupefied by the power of the revelation, then ran with stumbling
feet, making a half-circuit of the ruin. There, conspicuous in the light of the
conflagration, lay the dead body of a woman--the white face turned upward, the hands
thrown out and clutched full of grass, the clothing deranged, the long dark hair in tangles
and full of clotted blood. The greater part of the forehead was torn away, and from the
jagged hole the brain protruded, overflowing the temple, a...

Find Another Essay On Chickamauga; Editha: Tales of Anti-Romanticism

Moral Struggle. It traces American theme of moral struggle through Modernism, citing JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, and through Realism with WD Howells's Editha

1727 words - 7 pages statement that realism is better and more practical than romanticism because at the time of the publishing, most authors were still romantics.In the story, George deals with moral struggle. In his heart he knows he believes that war is bad and not for him. He is caught between his beliefs and those of his wife. Editha thinks the war will solve all the problems, "? I call any war glorious that is for the liberation of people who have been struggling

Ambrose Bierce: A Realist Essay

1488 words - 6 pages mid 1800s as a reaction to the preceding Romanticism movement. Realism minds, similar to the philosophies of Descartes and Locke, believe that the truth should be discovered through the senses. This doctrine created Realism authors’ main focus: to express the basic truth of an experience without any artificiality or artistic conventions that altered the meaning. “In American literature, the term ‘realism’ encompasses the period of time from the

The Romantic Period in Literature

1220 words - 5 pages “To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art - that is, intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts.” – Charles Bauldaire. Romanticism is a type of style of writing in fine arts and literature that focuses on passion imagination and intuition rather than emphasizing on reason and logic. There are no restraints or order in Romanticism; complete spontaneous actions are

Grimm Brothers

851 words - 4 pages in the 1800’s is very different from the literature of the present. During the 19th century romanticism became very popular. This style of writing included humor, wit and beauty. The Grimm Brothers were known for writing in this style. They also became interested in passing down and preserving the German culture. Their fairy tales were not just used for entertainment, as many are today. The stories were read and passed down to teach lessons to

Ambrose Bierce

1926 words - 8 pages , containing odd definitions that criticized almost everything (Kunitz 76). Bierce later became famous for his short stories. He was opposed to the novel and preferred to join Edgar Allan Poe and Fitz James O'Brien in developing the short story. His first collection, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, was published in 1891. Another short story collection, Can Such Things Be?, was published in 1893. His stories were simple, and he was "dedicated to

Communication in American Literature

2950 words - 12 pages American literature has changed since the industrial revolution. As a child matures into an adult, so has American literature grown to include the problems faced in reality. The word “fiction” transformed from the fairy tales of romanticism to the reality of realism in America. Authors such as: Clemens, Howells, Chopin, Eliot, Faulkner, and Anderson have all assisted the move from dreams to reality. Dramatists O’neill and Miller

Historical Background Essay

794 words - 4 pages but reasons and facts. The era of thinking lead to many people to criticize many of the ideals in both eras, which was the start of Romanticism. Romanticism writing had many ideas that were conservative and traditional. The Romantic era was also known as the “Anti Enlightenment era”; the ideas did not mix well with those who were affected by the Enlightenment. There was counter reaction to the Enlightenment. Romantics believed that the

James Fenimore Cooper and the growth of American Literature

938 words - 4 pages as Found, 1838); the first trilogy in American fiction (Satanstoe, 1845; The Chainbearer, 1845; and The Redskins, 1846) and the first and only five-volume epic romance to carry its mythic hero - Natty Bumppo - from youth to old age (Reuben 3). With these in mind, it is impossible for one to declare that James Fenimore Cooper's works had no literary value. It is because they did, his works are the among the enduring legacies of American romanticism. James Fenimore Cooper was an author, more importantly a romantic, whose tales have become bedtime stories, whose influence is still felt today.

trancendentalism

1518 words - 6 pages Transcendentalism is a literary, religious, and philosophical movement originating in New England in the mid-1830s and remaining influential until the 1860s. The philosophy behind transcendentalism was an eclectic mix of English romanticism (especially as mediated by William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle), antirationality, antipuritanism, the mysticism of Emanuel Swedenborg, and aspects of Eastern philosophies. The term

Romanticism In Literature

464 words - 2 pages Romanticism In Literature Romanticism in literature, began around 1750 and lasted until 1870. Different from the classical ways of Neoclassical Age(1660-1798), it relied on imagination, idealization of nature and freedom of thought and expression.      Two men who influenced the era with their writings were William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, both English poets of the time. Their edition of “Lyrical Ballads';, stressed

Thoreaus Elements of American Romanticism

1262 words - 5 pages of time, Thoreau decides to spend two years of his life in an experiment with Mother Nature in a cabin at Walden Pond. He tells exquisite tales of life in natural surroundings in his book, Walden, through a most primitive organic style. Walden is a key work of American Romanticism because of its embedded ideas of solitude, individualism, pantheism and intuition. Romanticism seeks nature as a means for obtaining knowledge, and while Thoreau

Similar Essays

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Wife Of Bath Feminist Or Anti Feminist?

1462 words - 6 pages seems to regard, or at least claim to regard, as the norm. As a result, the Wife of Bath's Prologue should not be dismissed simply as "merely an attack on women and married life"; there is much more ambiguity involved, and it would be inadvisable to ignore the fact that it is primarily a brilliant character-study of an individual rather than a didactical anti-feminist treatise in disguise. Work Cited Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Ed Mack, Maynard et al. W. W. Norton and Co. New York, NY. 1992.

Canterbury Tales Essay Anti Feminist Rhetoric In The Wife Of Bath

1241 words - 5 pages Anti-Feminist Rhetoric in The Wife Of Bath   In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, The Wife of Bath is a strong woman who loudly states her opinions about the antifeminist sentiments popular at the time. Chaucer, however, frequently discredits her arguments by making them unfounded and generally compromising her character. This brings into question Chaucer's political intent with the Wife of Bath. Is he supportive of her views, or is

Editha, By William Dean Howells Essay

1049 words - 4 pages William Dean Howells was an advocate of realism in writing; he believed that literary art should reflect the reality of the common man and demonstrate the truth of everyday current issues. He believed in truthful writing and he accepted very little at face value. He practiced this belief in his own writing, and his story called “Editha” is a good example of this. In this ironic tragedy, W.D. Howells shows the truth and nature of war. He uses a

Realism And Romanticism As Seen In A Short American Story Eng American Literature Essay

2563 words - 11 pages upon the wreck.” (61). The reference to the devil in this allusion made by Bierce was to make the point that war is hell. Bierce wanted to use this moment of emotional trauma to display the division between the childish fantasies and the actual reality of war. “Chickamauga” proved to be an ironic anti-war story by displaying the horrifying actuality of war in a romantic fashion. Bierce clearly displayed the unification of romanticism and realism