A Critical Analysis of The War Prayer by Mark Twain, Essay Example

Published: 2022-02-21
A Critical Analysis of The War Prayer by Mark Twain, Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Poem Mark Twain
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 663 words
6 min read

The analysis focuses on creating a critical analysis of the poem "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain. Given the various approaches to literal criticisms, the paper incorporates the gender approach to analyze the poem. The gender approach to literal criticism illustrates how the aspect of gender or rather sexuality influences the creation of a piece of literature (Bjorby, 207). In developing a critical analysis, this approach uses concepts such as masculinity and femininity. In a nutshell, the gender-critical approach explains how the poem affects the readers' perception regarding males and females in the society ("Critical Approaches To Literature"). In this case, the paper aims at analyzing how the concepts of masculinity and femininity in the society influenced the creation of "The War Prayer" poem by Mark Twain.

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In the poem, Mark Twain exhibits the theme of gender in the form of male chauvinism in the American Society. For instance, Mark points out the devotion and patriotism in America is brought by the contribution of the men but not women (Twain, "The War Prayer"). It shows that women have no any significant participation in achieving patriotism in the state, but it may not be the case. Despite their contribution, the theme of male chauvinism in the society does not provide to embrace the support from women. According to this poem, women only stand by the side of men to provide moral support rather than participating actively and hence women are thus perceived as weak. Further, Mark points out that the people with sons, brothers and any male figure in their lives are envied in the society. Besides, the families that had no any male to participate in bringing patriotism and devotion in America was viewed as useless and had nothing reputable in the society. The scenarios in the poem depict the fact that the males are highly recognized in the society as compared to their female counterparts (Twain, "The War Prayer").

The gender approach to literal criticisms illustrates how the sexual identity influences the piece of literature ("Critical Approaches To Literature"). Throughout the poem, Twain depicts how the society acknowledges masculinity as more significant to the feminism. It is interesting how none of the society members to correct the imbalance between the males and the females in the society. Perhaps, Twain was influenced by the gender discrimination in the society in writing this poem (Langland, 83). The society has the perception that women are designed to perform certain tasks which are easy such as house chores and attending to their children and husbands. On the other hand, males undertake hard tasks such as technical jobs and protecting the family. It is through this perception that Twain developed the poem. In the poem, males are seen to be taking part in war while the female counterparts provide support (Twain, "The War Prayer"). The image on men and women in this poem supports the historical beliefs that create the gender imbalance the society. Up to date, there exists a motion that supports and strive to create gender quality in the society. Thus, it is evident that the masculinity and feminism perceptions influenced Mark Twain's piece of literature.

In conclusion, the analysis illustrates how Mark Twain's poem is a true definition of social realism. The perception that males are superior to the females mirrors the social realism concept in the American culture. More importantly, it is evident that male chauvinism is a common practice among the American community.

Works Cited

"Critical Approaches To Literature". Home.Olemiss.Edu, 2018, http://home.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/spring97/litcrit.html. Accessed 31 Aug 2018.

Bjorby, Pal. "Rhetoric Versus "Poetry": Literature And Literary Criticism As Lesbian Politics". NORA - Nordic Journal Of Feminist And Gender Research, vol 24, no. 3, 2016, pp. 203-210. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/08038740.2016.1246475.

Langland, E. "Wayne Booth, The Feminists, And Feminist Criticism". Pedagogy: Critical Approaches To Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, And Culture, vol 7, no. 1, 2007, pp. 81-90. Duke University Press, doi:10.1215/15314200-2006-020.

Twain, Mark. "The War Prayer". The War Prayer, 2018, https://warprayer.org/. Accessed 31 Aug 2018.

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