White Society and the Civil War

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Sociology

Document 1

The purpose of this essay is to analyze how the authors discuss the issues such as causes of war, sectional divisions, natural reunification, lost social innocence, rapid social change. We will also try to establish whether the writers offer suggestions on how the crisis could have been avoided or the ways that the nation could have moved forward after the war. The Author’s Representation of the Civil War Ambrose Bierce served as a soldier and was an eye-witness of the bloodiest battles during the era of Civil War. Although Whitman movingly described the events surrounding the war, Bierce is the only author who served in the frontlines of the battle. The narration of Chickamauga centers on the life of a young boy as he roams onto the battlefield. It is an illustration of the nightmare that Bierce experienced at a very young age as he participated in the war. The boy loses his innocence as he wandered through a wasteland where he encountered a corpse that resembled him. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain focuses on the ignorance of the southern society and how the people supported slavery. Using his characters and a satirical tone, he embodies pertinent issues suffered by the black community. The book wonderfully demonstrates the pre-Civil War attitudes of the white community towards the blacks. Twain illustrates these attitudes through adventures and discourse of Huckleberry Finn, the storyteller, and Jim, Miss Watson’s slave. These characters are placed in a relationship that develops from mere acquaintance to friendship.

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It is through the interaction of these two people that Mark Twain idealizes and allows his audience to understand the diverse outlooks before the start of the war. Moreover, he demonstrates the negative attitudes of whites towards the colored people through the cruel treatment of Jim by his masters. In The Wound Dresser, Whitman describes the distresses of the Civil War hospitals and his personal suffering, faithfulness to duty, and developing compassion as he nursed wounded soldiers. The poem is narrated by a veteran who discourses in imagination to a group of youths who have requested him to retell his memories. The narrator reveals the journey through the military hospital that relates to the experiences of Whitman during the last half of the war. Throughout the Chickamauga, Bierce transcends the relationship he has with the Union Army and elicits compassion for the southern people.

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He was infuriated by any form of disrespect towards the blacks. The book reveals the loss of social innocence as men are reduced to animals, where they are represented as wounded soldiers crawling through the forest. It was a way of expressing the personal grief as a result of the war, and he nursed the wounds of others who could not assist themselves (Lindeen). The experience Whitman had as a volunteer in the Union hospitals influenced the themes of his poems. The Wound-Dresser reveals the lost social innocence of the people. The wounded soldiers as ignored as many people are busy pursuing financial goals. Whitman writes, “But in silence, in dreams’ projections, While the world of gain and appearance and mirth goes on” (Whitman n. In the same spirit, acknowledged that he was lucky that he was not killed during the war.

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“The entire country was swarming with confederates; the very earth seemed to move towards us!" (Bierce). The deaf boy in Bierce’s Chickamauga represents the political class and generals who never understand the horrors involved in the war. Bierce writes with a very bitter iron when he uses expressions such as the “grandeur of the struggle” and the dead who “died to make the glory. ” The political class, just like the child, enjoys the fire-war, until he realizes that he cannot withstand its outcome anymore, and eventually surrenders to the forces of nature. The war resulted from the ill attitudes of the white community towards the blacks. In this regard, the war led to a rebirth of the nation through the reunification of the people. Mark Twain and his character Huckleberry Finn are two individuals who were on a quest to undo the wrongs of their time.

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The novel uses satirical incidents to consciously narrate the issues that were grounded in the history of America. It necessitates the understanding of the events before the Civil War and the associated controversy including the free and slave states. Huckleberry struggles with his own conscience as he describes the people around him and gives a realistic description of life in the society. We clearly understand the prevalent culture that led to the war. However, we see hope as Huck struggles to maintain his independent views and illustrates an accurate representation of the runaway ignorance, slavery, and inhumanity (Henaoui). Conclusion The three author present to use the events that surrounded the Civil War, with its associated social and cultural impacts. Vividly, the authors show us the themes of sectional division, the causes of the war, reunification, and the rapid social changes related to the gore.

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Diss. Kansas State University, 2016. Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. YOGeBOOKs, 1884.

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