A Horseman In The Sky Analysis

Great Essays
Imagine your fifteen year old son going to war, uncertain if he will ever return home again. Growing old is something that should be cherished, not catalyzed. Whether it is committing murder, witnessing death, or being a part of a destructive brotherhood, war has detrimental effects of the lives of all soldiers. All of these aspects of war lead an individual to not only fight for their own life, but to fight for the rights of others as well. The loss of innocence in the Civil War forces young soldiers to welcome adulthood in the face of adversity and chaos in a dwindling nation. As demonstrated by a variety of pieces of expressive art, such as The Red Badge of Courage and “A Horseman in the Sky”, destroyed innocence is portrayed as a result …show more content…
In “A Horseman in the Sky”, traditional morality is severely destroyed by the war. Carter Druse, a Virginian teenager, objects to his family’s beliefs and joins the Union Army. Throughout the story, feelings of insanity about patriotic duty and family obedience overflow his mind. Holding nothing back in battle, Druse has no choice but to fire towards the enemy, tragically striking his father, who is a Confederate spy. In this example, Bierce highlights the destructive impact war has on families no matter where they fight or who they fight for. He suggests that no single nation is so corrupt on its own, but it is the country’s men who make it a “theater of war” (Bierce). Many soldiers go to extreme lengths in order show their support for war even if it costs their lives. Murder is the only solution for justice in a world where voices are not heard. Likewise, In the Red Badge of Courage, Henry enlists in the Confederate military against his family’s wishes to support a cause he believes is worth fighting for. He believes a false reality about war and courage, and yearns for a red badge of courage or a symbol of heroism that he could show off with pride. During battle, he succumbs to fear, runs away from the scene with a sense of cowardice, and contemplates the truth of war. Henry is shocked by the true brutality of the war as an “onslaught of redoubtable dragons” (Crane 36). Henry views …show more content…
In these several of pieces expressive art, the loss of innocence in the Civil War is demonstrated through a series of elements. Noone is prepared to commit murder, especially the youth in war, who are full of such severed enthusiasm. Witnessing murder has lasting-effects on anyone no matter where they originate. Too, a distraught brotherhood is formed during all the chaos of war. Though some could argue that experiencing war creates strength in character, ultimately their loss of innocence causes long term damage to their psyche. In conclusion, innocence should always be a given, not a

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Using both sarcasm and his hellish experience to criticize the fantasizing of war, Owen breaks down the common narrative of mankind’s ugliest features. These depictions of war are horrific and tragic, but with these awful consequences comes a world of beauty. War is not about the men who die on the battlefield. Their sacrifices will be remembered throughout history, but they are not putting their life on the line so they can come home and have a hero’s welcome. Men fight for the women and children they leave behind.…

    • 906 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    the brutal reality that comes with war. During the book we see Sam Meeker joining the fight in hopes that he will become a war hero and do all these things that set heroic ideals into his mind. As the book goes on, we start to see the brutal side that no one likes to talk about. It begins when Ned gets his head chopped off by the British. On page 145 we see how this death affected Tim and traumatize him.…

    • 754 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Many current soldiers and veterans are experiencing similar situations to what Paul and his comrades encounter in All Quiet on the Western Front. Paul Baumer and his comrades begin questioning authority, experience emotional effects of war, and understand the futility of war. Many soldiers and veterans experience similar struggles during combat regardless of the specific war. Young men of Paul’s generation join the war because they are deceived by authority figures. The older generations describe the war as a way to show patriotism but fail to understand and explain the horrors and emotional effects of war.…

    • 1364 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    His argument in the poem is that people view going to fight in the war and dying for ones country as heroic, but it’s an old lie: that men shouldn’t have die for their country for glory in the terrible war condition the men were in. During the war, it was many men or poets, wrote about their experiences of being on the front line during the war. They used poetry as a medium of opposing war. This idea of…

    • 1211 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Glory In The Iliad

    • 1280 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Akhaians and Trojans died in the midst of war seeking for glory and not for Helen. These men believe that their brave act will make them renowned throughout the lands for generations not knowing that taking part in the war will only lead them to their own demise and lamentation of their family, women and friends. Many of the Akhaian and Trojan soldiers fought for glory for themselves. These soldiers cared so much about glory and honor because they know the bitterness of life, they know that they will all die sooner or later and only through risking and giving up their comfortable lives with the people they cared about the most will give them satisfaction and contempt after they have died and entered the Underworld. I realized that The Iliad…

    • 1280 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Red Badge of Courage describes the struggles of Henry Fleming, the protagonist who yearns to fight in the Civil War. Although he originally joined the military because of his romanticization of war, he feels anxious and worried about the coming battle. Henry is thrust into his first battle, and is overcome by terror. Upon seeing the enemy advance, he decides to run away. The is leads to the main conflict: whether Henry's choice to run from the battles was right or wrong.…

    • 1408 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the book Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, it described the story of a boy who enlisted in the army during the conflict of the Civil War and how his journey and service affected him with the ugliness of battle. The book was narrated by Henry Fleming, who was the main protagonist in the story, on the events in the story. Henry was all for signing up to be in the war to earn fame and feel great about himself, but as his first battle happened, he then realized what he signed up for was way different than thought of before. After feeling the battle from the thought of death, Henry then realizes how insignificant his life is he changes to thrive in battle. In this book it tells the real traumatic and gruesome tales of war and how a boy run and hides, but then comes back and fight like a man on a spiritual journey of maturity along with the fight of conscience of the right thing to do.…

    • 860 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Stephen Crane’s works have established the roots of modern American naturalism, and he is known as one of America’s most influential realist writers. Crane’s short novel The Red Badge of Courage is about a young man named Henry Fleming, with unrealistic ideas about life as a soldier in the American Civil War. At first, Henry is eager to experience the excitement of war, but once enlisted, he soon realizes the bloody truth of battle. In Henry’s first encounter with the Confederate enemy, he flees in fear. This pushes Henry to contemplate his feelings and discover things he never knew about himself.…

    • 1895 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Troubles of War In the hardships of war, you must fight for what you believe is right or things will never change. In the book My Brother Sam is Dead, Tim and his family face many troubles with the ongoing war. The war is brutal and effects not only those fighting it, but those around it. Unfortunately the people must do desperate things in order to cope with their desperate situations. Sam and many others leave to go fight in this war when they do not realize how harsh war really is.…

    • 635 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Sam’s execution showed Tim that the world was not a fair place; no matter which side he joined, there was going to be some form of injustice wrapped up in pretty paper. Sam’s death was said to be good and save soldiers in the long run, but at the moment, all it served to do was to kill Tim’s only brother, and rip apart his feelings. With his Loyalist beliefs proven false, and his Patriotic feelings burnt up in the flames that Sam suffered, Tim had nowhere…

    • 1115 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays