Analysis: 2 paragraphs about death in war




Robert St. John, "Under Fire"

All Atherton said was, "Mike's dead." Then we knew where the blood had come from. We didn't ask any questions. We didn't yet know how Mike had died. But we knew he had died with his head on Atherton's chest. We knew that because we knew Atherton and we knew he felt about Mike just like we did. Mike was sixty years old and he was a tough little fisherman with big gnarled hands like boxing gloves that mashed your hand when he grabbed it. And Mike wasn't the kind of person you'd invite into your home for a cocktail party. But Mike was worth most of the people I had ever met at cocktail parties all thrown in together. We had lived with Mike for days out there in the Adriatic and we knew that Mike was a real man, with an honest, open heart. But a heart that wasn't beating any more now.

Bruce Caton, A Stillness at Appomattox

In this year when blood-red fantasies danced against the clouded moon of war, men who had never seen the grotesque indignity of violent death could talk easily about the good fruits that might grow at the foot of the gallows-tree, and devout Christians could wonder if something precious might not slip too easily through the loose meshes of Christian charity. At this moment, when casualties in the Army of the Potomac had averaged 2,000 men a day for a solid month, Abraham Lincoln was waging the hardest fight of his life to uphold the dream that peace could finally be made decently and justly, without malice or a desire to have revenge.


In class we'll apply some of the epistemologies discussed by Fulkerson and Berlin:


Commentary Exercises | 376 Syllaweb