The Upturned Face By Stephen Crane And Coup De Grace By Amberose Bierce

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The Ramifications of War Two short stories that often give people a first look at how gruesome wars are, “The Upturned Face” by Stephen Crane and “Owl Creek Bridge”, and “Coup de Grace,” by Amberose Bierce. Though these books are fiction, the authors still use enough detail to really bring the reader into the war and create a bond with the reader and the characters. These two stories take place in the same timeframe, that being the civil war. The civil war was a very tough time for America as the civil war pinned brother against brother on keeping the Union after Lincoln’s election. How well did these two authors capture the timeframe of the civil war, more specifically the physical and mental effects on the soldiers? Amberose Bierce and Stephen …show more content…
One example of a physical consequence in “The Upturned Face” is when a young solider is trying to help bury one of his fallen comrades and sustains a wound to his arm. This event left a great mental impact on these two soldiers as it would be really stressful to try and dig a hole to bury a comrade while the fear of being shot is present as they are just trying to give there comrade a proper burial. In the article “PTSD in active combat soldiers: to treat or not to treat.” Wangelin says “Since 2001 over 2.5 million troops have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, many of whom have experienced direct combat and sustained threat. Estimates of PTSD rates related to these wars range from 8% to over 20%, or 192,000 to 480,000 individuals.” meaning that even because of their situation they would still receive some kind of mental detriment. This type of trauma is very taxing on a young man’s psyche. Many men who sustain physical wounds in the military often develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Which not only effects the soldiers but their family members as well. Though Crane did a decent job of capturing the era he didn’t really capture how it affected the soldier, he just said “The man with the shovel suddenly ducked, grabbed his left arm with his right hand, and looked at his officer for orders. Lean picked the shovel from the ground. "Go to the rear," he said to …show more content…
After what sound like a major battle Captain Madwell surveys the battle field and to his dismay finds one of his best friends mortally wounded. From there the captain studies his best friend’s wounds and decided that there really isn’t much quality of life left for him. Madwell continues to contemplate what he must do to save his friend. While walking around he sees a horse that is also fatally wounded Madwell uses his revolver to end the horses suffering. Madwell in this part is having an internal conflict with himself as he does not want to hurt his friends but, knows that it will end his suffering. He decides he knows what he must do. Bierce doesn’t give much evidence to show Madwell’s internal conflict about ending his friend’s life though he does capture the life of a civil war soldier. Madwell knows that even if help does arrive, his friend’s wounds are too much and he will surely die. We know that this is mentally strenuous for Madwell because of one small detail Bierce gives us and that is, “This time he did not withdraw his eyes.” This is the only real evidence is given that shows that Madwell has faced his internal conflict. In a way Bierce leaves small clues to key us into how hard that was for

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