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Compare and Contrast Essay Paper on Literature

Compare/Contrast Between Stephen Crane’s “War is Kind” and W.D. Howell’s “Editha”

The main similarity of the poems is female characters, with the help of which the authors interpreted war effects. In his poem, Crane shows that impact of war on women belonging to different age groups. He underlines the grief of women whose father, son and lover was killed. The same technique is used by Howell who depicts the sufferings of a mother and a girl. For both authors, common sense is considered as a rational choice, which includes aims, alternatives, consequences and choice. If the army has made an action, it should have the purposes because common sense is caused by: corresponding values and tasks, alternative rates of actions estimated by it, estimations of various consequences.

Both works depict “kindness” of war and discusses it effect. War is used as a symbol to describe deep personal feelings and life experience of a human. The author gives only some hints to the reader to comprehend the meaning of the “kindness” of war. Howell writes: “But when you consider the good this war has done–how much it has done for the country1”. Both authors depict the world as they see it (a realistic interpretation). When one person’s actions begin to affect another person, we have moved from personal ethics to social ethics and often have to place some limits on human behavior.

The story morality states that everyone is responsible for his own actions, and it is useless to blame everything on the people around you. Only in difficult situations people can show their real inner state and their morals. Men of both works are depicted as the persons who are full of life experience, but still have not found the truth of life.

It is possible to say that Crane and Howell underline that a man should take a true journey alone, and the men who made these were heroes themselves in the true sense. It is clear that war “cannot be kind”, but the tough and lasting thread on which faith is strung has three strands: reason, freedom and tolerance.

The remarkable feature of both poems is that men are depicted as courageous and brave through women’s characters. For instance, Editha supposes that a man’s duty is to be fully devoted to his country, and for this reason she forced Gearson, her boyfriend, to join the army. The sarcasm of the situation is depicted through a death of the Gearson. At the beginning of the poem Editha wanted that her Gearson came back as a hero, but, the reality of war ruins this dream. Howell shows that war is sweet to those who know it not. Only a person faced with sufferings and grievances of war, like the mother who “I had been through one war before” is able to understand the pain and loss. She says: “I suppose he made up his mind to go, but I knew what it cost him by what it cost me when I heard it”.

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