In this essay I will compare and contrast the story of Steven Cranes - A Mystery of Heroism and the poem a War is Kind. I will try to determine what the actual meanings of these writings are.
I do not feel that anyone is a hero or has a sense of being noble in these writings. In the poem war is kind, there are several contradicting statements. For example, "a field where a thousand corpses lie-how can this be kind? In The Mystery of Heroism, it seems senseless for Collins of A Company to get water given the risks involved.
In the poem War is Kind, "because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches" reminds me of the scene from the story where Collins was rushing back with his water and came across a "the artillery officer who had fallen in this meadow had been making groans in the teeth of the tempest of the sound."
Crane does not show that war is kind. In his poem he quotes "point for them the virtue of slaughter, make plain to them the excellence of killing", once again this appears to be an inconsistency to his title war is kind. The Mystery of Heroism is full of illustrations the demonstrate the cruelty of war. Some examples are, "And it was as if his arm was at all a part of him, but belong to another man" and "From the ruck of bleeding and prostrate horses..."
In conclusion, Steven Crane has consistently illustrated the horrors of war. His way of presenting war is from a cynical point of view. His quoting "War is Kind" is his way of telling the reader about the futility of war.