War and God

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"When the people believe the war necessary, not only to secure the nation and her principles, but to further the cause of Christ and morality, victory is charged with even more intensity" (Monteiro 31).

This whole idea really goes back to our class discussion on "The Defence of Fort McHenry" by Francis Scott Key.  Some of my fellow classmates posed the question: "How could these people associate war with God?".  In Emily Dickinson's poem, "Victory Comes Late", she mentions both.    Katherine A. Monteiro further analyzes this in her article, "Dickinson's 'Victory Comes Late'". 

Victory no longer is just a word of war; it's a word of religion.  Let's put this in their perspective.  If they win the war, God has won.  If they lose the war, the Devil has won.  Later in the article, Monteiro says, "No matter who wins the battle or the war, the victory means nothing to the dead."  I have to disagree.  I think that the victory means a lot to the dead (although they were no longer there).  If their fellow soldiers lost the battle, then they died for nothing.  If their fellow soldiers won the battle, then they died for God.  The real question is how does this idea of war and religion affect the dead?  The dead are going somewhere (according to their religion) regardless of who won the war.  But does that somewhere depend upon whether or not they were victorious?  Monteiro should not disregard the dead soldiers in her analysis of the poem.   

2 Comments

Kaitlin Monier said:

That is a very interesting point you make about how the victory actually means a lot to the dead. It seems as though there are so many different ways to read a story, and not everyone has the same take on things. Also, I like how you related it to "The Defence of Fort McHenry."

Jessie Farine said:

I think the author may have disregarded the victory's effect on the dead soldiers because the author didn't believe there would be an afterlife for them. But, I think the author was making a point of earthly victory. Ultimately, their reality ended, they are dead, and they won't experience the effects of the victory.

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