Chickamauga Questions and Answers
by Ambrose Bierce

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How does the author use realism and romanticism to convey the loss of innocence in Chickamauga?

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Heather Garey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Ambrose Bierce juxtaposes realism and Romanticism in his short story entitled "Chickamauga" in order to illustrate the horrors of war. Indeed, the reader is left with an indelible picture of that horror after reading the story.

Romanticism was a literary movement which began in the eighteenth century. Romantics emphasized the beauty of nature in their work. They prized imagination and wanted to lift up the experience and plight of the common man. They placed a great emphasis on emotion and often portrayed sad or melancholy subjects.

Realism strove for accuracy. It rejected the imaginative. It often dealt with the subject of nature but focused on close observation rather than the fanciful.

From these two definitions, you can see that the two movements have enough in common to allow them to be dovetailed nicely (although it should be noted that realism, broadly speaking, was a reactionary movement that sought to amend the excesses of Romanticism). They both prize nature and emphasize its...

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