War 's Effect On Literature Essay

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History is written by the victors. This stands as an interesting thought admitted by most; one with unknown origins, commonly misattributed to major historical figures such as Winston Churchill. But this is inherently wrong, especially in the field of literature. The thought itself is an account accusing the idea of the spoils of war going to the victor. The concept also takes on a form assuming war is only a destructive phenomenon for one side, leaving nothing to the defeated. However, the earth bears no conflict more brutal than that of war – win or lose. The explanation and description of war does not fall solely on the shoulders of the victor but also of the spectators, veterans, and deceased. While some say war has nothing to do with literature, the truth is war causes incalculable effects on the culture and thus the literature. The reason is the tremendous affect wars have on people thereby writers, causing an emergence and change in literature.
First, the most blatant telling of war’s effect on literature is in the periods of literature. Not coincidentally, most major periods in literature begin and end around times of war. Looking at America especially, the Civil War heeds the end of Transcendentalism and begins the period of Realism. Additionally, the Modernism movement widens with the advent of both world wars. Transcendentalism, a period tending towards philosophical reaction and protest to the general state of society with the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and…

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