Stephen Crane’s famous story, “An Episode of War,” is set during the Civil War. Leaving the field, silently and mournfully, a lieutenant leaves the field to seek medical attention and begins a dark journey. The lieutenant’s wandering quest takes him through scenes of wartime horror: batteries sweep in majestic, frightening curves bent on destruction; and horsemen curse and shout amid a chaos of levers, motors, and wheels. This chorus of war is ferocious and emotional with dramatic passion.
This story is an example of literary Naturalism, which was a literary movement that developed in the l800s as a reaction to Romanticism. While Romanticism focused on emotion, imagination, and nature, Naturalism tried to portray life as it really is. Writers of naturalism emphasize the power of nature, environment, and other forces over ordinary people.
“An Episode of War” by Stephen Crane…we begin….