Sunday, October 7, 2012

Brush Strokes

Adjectives out of order

This week I am going to include an excerpt from an English paper I was assigned to write for my English 302 class. For the assignment I had to choose two war time poems and compare the two based on tone, audience, and speaker, assuming that I actually read them. Here I am going to include a section of my writing modified to include the 4 patterns of the week.

“Do Not Weep, Maiden, for War is Kind” written by Stephen Crane, outlines a few different scenarios, grotesque and impersonal, that deal with war and the death of soldiers.  In the first stanza, the narrator, a voice of the general public, speaks as if to a loved one of a man at war, most likely a wife. Using general and impersonal language, the narrator tries to convince that, even though the wife’s husband may have died, that war is kind.  Said with little detail, there is no specific reason given to this woman, the poet merely states “do not weep/ War is kind” (4-5). The second stanza is written in a way as if the narrator is speaking directly to a solider.  The narrator explains that “these men were born to drill and die (8)”.  The ‘war-machine’ mentality, brutal and driven by the government, is exemplified through this quote, which explains that men were born to die. The third stanza comments on a child and his father. The narrator speaks to a child who has lost his father at war, but yet again uses the excuse that “war is kind” and encourages the child “do not weep”.  Using non–specific language and blunt terminology, by the fourth stanza the narrator is speaking to the reader of the poem. This stanza encourages that war is equal to eternal glory and that a death in war if glorified, but then again the narrator repeats that “these men were born to drill and die” (19).  The narrator even mentions the image of the waving flag as soldiers carry it into battle. This stanza is actually very conflicting because it covers so many aspects. Some who would read this might view it as a sincere passage, but then once the reader goes deeper into the words, the sarcastic and ironic tone is again obvious. The fifth and final stanza finally touches on a sad subject within war, children leaving their mothers and homes. The narrator here speaks to the mother of a soldier in war, ironically and bluntly, and once again tells the mother of a now dead solider “Do not weep / War is kind”(25-26). The reoccurring line of “Do not weep, war is kind” at first sounds somewhat sincere, but as the poem goes on, the repetition of the line takes away the sincerity and creates once again a sarcastic tone throughout the poem.

To be completely honest, I still am a little wishy washy on the concepts of the four brush strokes. I used the examples in the course packet as a guide and hopefully this will help me grasp them easier.

1 comment:

  1. You do a very nice job of using a variety of our patterns within this excerpt. My only concerns are that I would have classified "The 'war-machine' mentality, brutal and driven by the government, is exemplified through this quote..." as an adjective out of order rather than an absolute because of how it is worded, and it also doesn't have a noun before your adjectives/verbs used. And the other absolute you classified I would consider to be a participle because of the past tense verb at the beginning of the phrase.

    Absolutes have a noun before the action. So you could say something along the lines of: One that is brutal and driven by the government. Using "one" as the noun to create the absolute. And also: These (or the) lines said with little bring a noun to the forefront of the phrase.

    I ended up using a whole bunch of appositives in mine. I did little to no adding onto my paper, but this exercise definitely helped me see what kind of brush strokes I use within my writing. Being someone that loves creative writing a lot more than academic, I can see why my usage of these specific things ended up being the way they are. Haha. I believe the only thing I had to add was my "adjectives out of order" phrase.

    Anyway, it seems like a nice paper too! Good use of quotes, and you introduce them and follow up nicely. =) If I were your teacher, I would give you an A!