By doing both: investing the Civil War with symbolic capital and refraining from thematizing the war as an epochal conflict between two different stages of civilization, the text exhibits a narrative strategy that departs from the genre conventions of the traditional historical novel. Instead it makes use of literary modes that primarily serve to reveal intense emotional responses and, more generally, the psychological state of individuals. Hence, what we get in Crane’s story is not a description of the war as a grand struggle of the North against the South but the intimate and subjective world of thought of the young protagonist Henry Fleming as he searches for an explanation of a war that supposedly was to make him a man and hero.
There was another movement (more liberal) that also was against slavery, but in contrast to the abolitionists it supported the idea of gradual slavery cessation. In the presidential election of 1860, Abraham Lincoln ran on a Republican platform of resistance to the expansion of slavery, and was elected with a narrow margin in the popular vote (Harpen R., Dal Lago E., p. 345). Proclamation of Lincoln’s course against slavery was the last straw, which caused Northern states to secede from the Union and unleash Civil War. The opening shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, facing Charleston: on April 12 (1861), southern soldiers attacked the federal garrison, and two days later the fort surrendered (Harpen R., Dal Lago E., p. 345). Although there may be other causes of Civil War, we can see that slavery was the primary one.
Essay on reconstruction after civil war
The Civil War was caused by mounting conflicting pressures, principles, and prejudices, fueled by differences and pride, and set into motion by unlikely set of political events.
The Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective
Such an evaluation also served to disguise social tensions of the Gilded Age caused by economic and social contradictions after the Civil War. It coated them with rhetorics of national unity on the one hand, and redefined international and external conflicts that America had to face in the following decades as national challenges on the other. Crane’s text, however, questions such an interpretation of the war and dismantles its distorted value system through the character of Henry Fleming. Whereas this character is first introduced as an adolescent enthusiastically volunteering to fight in the Union army, this eagerness gradually vanishes as he goes through a profound crisis in terms of his belief in the ideals of the war as postulated by society. The images of the war battles created in the text projecting a “singular absence of heroic poses” (Crane, 86) are devoid of any notions of heroism and chivalry as commonly staged in popular fiction—and degrade the significance of the war as it was propagated in the Gilded Age:
The Civil War Collection - Accessible Archives Inc.
Crane’s text strongly undermines commonly held views of the Civil War as reflected in popular Civil War novels of the 1880s and 1890s by rejecting any gestures of harmonizing or resolving the sectional conflict. In contrast to earlier Civil War novels that sketch subplots in order to establish fictional sites for reconciling opposing interests, Crane ignores such narrative moves in favor of questioning swift reconciliatory gestures, as the following scene underlines. Here, Henry Fleming makes the acquaintance of a soldier of the Confederate army:
Civil War Questions - Research Paper - …
First of all, Crane’s story fictionalizes the Civil War as an event possessing symbolic relevance by distancing the plot from the actual conflict of 1861–1865. Thus the text does not construct the war as an event of the now but of the past in an attempt to reconstruct the war as a paradigm of searching for meaning and orientation in the America of the Gilded Age.