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Study Questions

War Is Kind Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
  1. How does the form of the poem relate to its meaning? Why all the five-line stanzas? What about the rhymes? 
  2. How does the speaker make us feel? Or how does he want us to feel after reading the poem? 
  3. What effect does the speaker achieve by saying "war is kind" instead of just, say, "war is awful"? 
  4. In other words, why bother with irony, when you can just say things straight up? 
  5. What is lost or gained by alternating between a more sympathetic, critical speaker and a more drill-sergeant like speaker? 
  6. Is this a powerful poem? Why or why not? 
  7. Does the fact that Stephen Crane witnessed war up close make this poem a more real or authentic indictment of war?
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