Verbal Irony In Crane's War Is Kind

War is a lose-lose situation because as described, men are dying on the battlefield which causes great grief and anger on the homefront. Besides the situational irony conveyed in the imagery, Crane uses verbal irony- when what is said is the opposite of the intended meaning, to convey his message about the futility of war. Verbal irony begins in the title, “War is Kind”. Although Crane says war is good and kind, the readers know or will find out by the images to come in the poem, war is not kind. Crane repeats this line at the end of stanzas one, three, and five and uses it to juxtapose the horrific images and occurrences. This juxtaposition between what the speaker says and what actually happens creates situational irony- when actions have …show more content…
There is no virtue in slaughter nor is there any excellence in killings. Crane asserts how futile the brutal killing of war is because it does not improve one’s character through virtue or excellence. Furthermore, the speaker repeats the phrase “These men were born to drill and die” reveals how dying for their country is their purpose in life (Crane 8). The grim reality, though, is that death is war brings no glory or fame, only sadness and grief for the loved ones left behind. Through his use of irony and visual imagery, Crane shows how nothing good comes from war. It only accomplishes bringing destruction and woe. Because of the futility of war, its consequences are …show more content…
War is able to affect great destruction and havoc on humanity through the people it directly and indirectly affects. Crane amplifies the greatness of the battle god when he states, “Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom” (Crane 10). Amplification is the repetition of a word or phrase for emphasis and Crane wants to emphasize the greatness of the battle-god. “Great” can have a few different meanings including large, important, powerful, skilled, and enjoyable. These are the qualities of the battle-god Crane wanted to emphasize as he is the ruler of battle and war. His power over war gives the war itself great power, the power to take human life and destroy the ones left behind. Crane utilizes a metaphor to illustrate the kingdom of the battle-god as “A field where a thousand corpses lie” which, as aforementioned, is a refrain (Crane 11). A metaphor is when a word or phrase denoting one thing is used in place of another to compare them. The field Crane describes is the battle-god’s compared to his kingdom by using it in place of the kingdom. The battle-god is so powerful that, in his kingdom, he keeps a thousand humans have been stripped of their humanity and likeness over senselessness. This is a power greater than any human on earth will ever know or experience; it is a power only war

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