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"Naming Of Parts" By Henry Reed, And "War Is Kind" By Stephen Crane.

917 words - 4 pages

"War...ouhh....What is it good for...absolutely nothing!" sang Edwin Starr in 1965. He felt the same vibe that both Henry Reed and Stephen Crane felt in their poems, "Naming of Parts" and "War is Kind." Although these authors may not have said it as straightforward as Starr did in his hit single "War," they still had just as much hatred of war. Both Reed and Crane have developed their perspectives on war through their writing styles, their usage of figurative language, and their attitudes toward war in general.
Henry Reed and Stephen Crane both have very different writing styles. Reed's style in "Naming of Parts" is built upon juxtaposition. Guns and gardens, soldiers and bees: the poem relates the unrelated in order to draw a clear line between the horrors of war and the fruits of nature. However, the poem goes further than just contrasting opposites. The structure and language of the poem combine to show how one should become the other in hopes that the harmonious image of this Eden transforms the unnatural feat of war. His overall structure also serves to make nature better. Each stanza is split between the dry, unimaginative language of the first speaker, probably the drill sergeant, and the poetic language used by the second speaker to describe nature. In every stanza, the gentle and peaceful language of the second speaker is quite dominant over the monotone voice of the drill instructor. This shows that war disturbs the balance of nature. Stephen Crane, in "War is Kind," develops his style by using vivid imagery and irony. Through doing this, he leads the reader directly to his perspective of war. He feels war is a horrible way to solve problems and uses irony to tell us that war is blatantly stupid. Nothing good has ever come from it and nothing ever will. The American flag, "The unexplained glory, flies above them" to symbolize that the glory they were fighting for was not earned righteously, it was stolen by "these little men...born to drill and die."
Both authors also heavily use figurative language to help create a picture of what they saw in their minds as they wrote these poems. Henry Reed's entire poem is entangled in figurative language. He shows us a perfect balance of the world of nature in the sections of the poem that describe the garden. The garden is a symbol of life and beauty: a magical place, "silent" and "eloquent." In the garden, we see the personification of branches which "hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures." We are told of...

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