Mark Twain's The War Prayer

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In Mark Twain's, The War Prayer, readers are exposed to an overlooked point of view about war, that some believed to be unpatriotic or only for the weak of heart. Mark Twain depicts the patriotic majority as a group of men and women, who encourage the “stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, [and] the surrender” (322). In his descriptions, Twain elicits feelings of pride, patriotism, and, most excitingly, VICTORY. However, he does not end his prayer there. He continues claiming that these patriotic individuals continue to the churches in which “pastors preached devotion to [the] flag and country” (322) and family's proudly pray for their sons and brothers to head toward “the field of honor, there to win for the flag or failing, die the noblest of noble deaths” (322). …show more content…
Twain informs the reader on the implications of a victory in war; implications that mean someone must lose. He provokes images of soldiers (people) being bloodied, beaten, and murdered on the war ridden fields. Twain prays, “help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells…help us to wring the hearts of their offending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst” (323). The patriotic men and women, however, choose to dismiss the consequences as simply the words of a

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