Ambrose Bierce

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How do I formulate an argumentative thesis about a particular aspect of Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War Stories?

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Eleanore Trupkiewicz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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You have asked for help to begin an analysis of a Civil War short story by Ambrose Bierce. One of his more familiar stories is "Chickamauga," as referenced in your question, and there are several avenues available for you to consider as you begin to formulate an argumentative thesis and essay.

A good place to start is to ask the question "why" of an author or a piece of literature. For example, you might think about why Ambrose Bierce uses a young child ("a boy aged about six years") as the main or focal character in a story that is otherwise about war. What message did Bierce mean to send to his readers about the contrast between the innocence of the child and the harsh reality and depravity of warfare?

Or you might consider why Bierce left until the very last few lines the fact that the boy is a...

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