An Episode of War | Major English | Class 12

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‘An Episode of War’ is a story written by Stephen Crane. This story presents the bitter reality of a wounded lieutenant (Warrier) at the battle field, barracks, and hospital. In this story Crane hasn’t given a name to the lieutenant however using the generic name to show that war’s bitter experience not for only an individual but for all soldiers of every nationality.

Whilst providing the coffee powder, the Lieutenant was immediately shot on his right arm by a bullet. The fellowmen stared at him and felt awe for him and some offered him help. However, the lieutenant did not want to take their help. After that all his fellow soldiers went back to take their position on the battlefield. Therefore, he started to walk alone towards the military hospital. On the way, he encounters some strangers who did not care about his wound.

In the barrack, some officers came out to see him and started to ask several questions. One of the officers noticed his wound but he showed without any right treatment or sympathy. He tied his wound with a handkerchief and even scolded him. Lieutenant reached the hospital and found that the hospital was not managed, the ambulances were sticking up in the mud and no one really cared for the wounded soldiers. He met a busy surgeon who also behaved him indifferently. He talked to the lieutenant like he was talking to a criminal, not to a brave warrior. The surgeon said that he would not cut off his hand but he found himself losing his arm. When he went to his home the family did not find his bravery but they started crying. Although he was a hero on the battlefield, he felt ashamed.

So, through this story the writer shows the gap between appearance and reality. War is glorified but soldiers are not treated well. A brave warrior   suffers from misbehaving wherever he goes. The writer depicts the picture of a wounded soldier who makes an extreme effort to live normal.

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