Coming Of Age In America English Literature Essay Free Essay

The American Civil War, which began in 1861 and ended in 1865, pitted brother against brother, The North against The South, doing the bloodiest and largest sum of casualties of all time faced on American dirt. Two people that have great pieces of literature based on events of the American Civil War are Stephen Crane and Walt Whitman. Crane ‘s novel, The Red Badge of Courage, written in 1895, is considered one of the most influential pieces in American literature. The novel follows immature Henry Fleming through his experiences as a Union ground forces soldier during the American Civil War. Besides, it shows how Henry must happen his inner-self and get the better of his initial frights to go a hero on the battleground. Though Crane was born after the Civil War and did non hold experience in the war, The Red Badge of Courage is still considered an illustration of Realism. Whitman ‘s verse form “ O Captain! My Captain! ” was written in 1865. The verse form tells the narrative of a fallen ship captain that merely returned from a winning conflict and shows the feelings that the talker has for the captain. There are many metaphors throughout the verse form that mention President Lincoln and the problems American Civil War. Stephen Crane ‘s novel The Red Badge of Courage and Walt Whitman ‘s verse form “ O Captain! My Captain! ” comparison on the subject of coming of age as demonstrated by the writers ‘ usage of allusion, imagination, and symbolism.

A subject is the penetration about human life that is revealed in a literary work, and Crane ‘s novel and Whitman ‘s verse form both have the subject of coming of age. A coming of age novel/poem is one that has a immature character or characters who, by the terminal of the narrative, have developed in some manner, through the project of duty, or by larning a lesson. This subject of The Red Badge of Courage is shown in an article about the novel ‘s subjects. In the article it says, “ Prompted by a naif sense of nationalism and gallantry to enlist ” ( “ Red ” 1 ) . Henry is really immature at the beginning of the novel. At first he does non truly understand the true significance of being a hero and believes that a uniform is all it takes. Throughout the novel, Henry witnesses many ghastly events, which cause him to alter the manner he thinks and Acts of the Apostless. By the terminal of the novel, Henry becomes more mature and truly understands what it takes to be a hero. This subject of coming of age is besides shown in Whitman ‘s verse form, “ O Captain! My Captain! ” In the verse form, the talker says, “ But I, with plaintive pace, / Walk the deck my Captain lies, ” ( Whitman lines 21-23 ) ; the poet shows the talker ‘s solitariness and fright. The Captain ‘s counsel has helped the talker survive, and now the talker is left on his ain to fend for himself. These lines are besides speaking about the state of America as the talker, and Abraham Lincoln as the Captain. President Lincoln had given a batch of counsel to America when he was in office, much like the Captain in the verse form ; when he died, America was left without his counsel any longer and would hold to “ come to age, ” much like the talker of the verse form.

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Allusion, a mention to person or something that is known from history, literature, faith, political relations, or some other subdivision of civilization, is used by Crane and Whitman in both the novel and the verse form to convey to theme of coming of age. One of the greatest images from the novel The Red Badge of Courage came in chapter 9, when Henry ‘s good friend, Jim Conklin, dies. In the instance of The Red Badge of Courage, Crane ‘s allusion is a mention to faith: “ The ruddy Sun was pasted in the sky like a wafer ” ( Crane 56 ) . The use of “ wafer ” from this quotation mark refers to a Eucharistic wafer, a thin disc of unraised staff of life, besides known as the host. In the Christian religion, they are used to observe the decease and Resurrection of Jesus. The Sun ‘s similitude to a wafer draws an allusion to the Bible and Christianity. In Whitman ‘s verse form “ O Captain! My Captain! ” one of the cardinal devices used is allusion. The allusion used by Whitman in this verse form is a mention to history. The talker says, “ The ship has weather ‘d every rack, the award we sought is won ; / The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, ” ( Whitman lines 2-3 ) . Even though the dangers are over, the talker is unprepared because he fears the loss of the Captain since he ‘s the 1 that has provided so much counsel. This is an allusion to President Lincoln helping as the Commander in Chief and winning the American Civil War by stoping bondage.

Crane and Whitman use imagination, a word or phrase in a literary text that entreaties straight to the reader ‘s gustatory sensation, touch, hearing, sight, or odor, to convey the coming of age subject in both the novel and the verse form. One of the best illustrations of imagination in The Red Badge of Courage is when Henry comes across a deceasing adult male in the wood after abandoning his regiment. Crane shows this great imagination when he says, “ He was being looked at by a dead adult male who was seated with his dorsum against a columnlike tree. The cadaver was dressed in a uniform that had one time been bluish, but was now faded to a melancholic shadiness of greenaˆ¦ One was trundling some kind of package along the upper lip ” ( Crane 46 ) . When he sees this deceasing adult male, he is faced with the horror of decease, which is one of the cardinal events that changes the manner Henry thinks and Acts of the Apostless. With all of the descriptive words used, the reader can make a realistic image in their caput and feel like they ‘re in the scene. Imagery is used many times in Whitman ‘s verse form “ O Captain! My Captain! ” to heighten the reader ‘s vision of the events traveling on. “ My Captain does non reply, his lips are pale and still ; / My male parent does non experience my arm, he has no pulse nor will ; ” ( Whitman lines 17-18 ) . The usage of great description in this portion of the verse form gives the reader a good image of the captain lying dead on the ship deck. With the Captain being dead, this means that the talker will hold to turn up and go a adult male without the counsel and leading of the Captain. This portion of the verse form besides represents President Lincoln, the great speechmaker and leader, no longer being able to turn to the Union and lead the great state of the United States.

Symbolism, the usage of a word or object that stands for another word or object, is used to convey the subject of coming of age by Crane and Whitman. One symbol in The Red Badge of Courage is the ruddy badge. A ruddy badge is a blood discoloration which for most soldiers was a mark of bravery, but for Henry it was non. For Henry, his ruddy badge was a mark of cowardliness because he received it after abandoning his regiment. In the novel, Crane says, “ The new silence of his lesion made much troublesomeness ” ( Crane 69 ) . Henry wants a lesion to turn out that he fought courageously and sacrificed himself, but when Henry gets his ain lesion, it comes when a chap Union soldier work stoppages him with a rifle butt to acquire Henry out of his manner and Henry must so lie to his regiment about the lesion ‘s beginning. Two of the cardinal symbols in Whitman ‘s verse form “ Oh Captain! My Captain! ” are the ship and the award: “ The ship has weather ‘d every rack, the award we sought is won ; / The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, ” ( Whitman lines 2-3 ) . When the talker says “ The ship has weather ‘d every rack ” , the ship symbolizes the Civil War and when it says “ the award we sought is won ” , the award it is speaking about the Civil War. This makes sense because Lincoln was the Commander in Chief of the American Civil War.

Stephen Crane and Walt Whitman both have great wartime novels based on events from the Civil War that besides convey coming of age subjects. Readers of the novel and verse form need to larn that at some point in life, people must turn up and go grownups, even when they are n’t ready to. Like the Bible says, “ When I was a kid, I spake as a kid, I understood as a kid, I thought as a kid: but when I became a adult male, I put off infantile things ” ( 1 Corinthians 13:11 ) . When people are immature, it is okay for them to be infantile, but when they get to a certain age or are faced with certain state of affairss, they must set the infantile things behind them and come of age.

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