Notice 2 details that show how the lieutenant exhibits a quiet endurance typical of characters in Naturalist works. Please explain your choices.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One example of the endurance that the Lieutenant displays would have to be when he sojourns through the battlefield landscape while carrying his injury.  He is not deterred from moving through what would amount to be a horrific landscape.  What he sees is war at its worst.  Yet, he sojourns on, displaying the endurance that is such a part of Naturalist conceptions of the individual and their place in the world.  This endurance is revealed to be what lies at the Lieutenant's center of being.  For the Naturalist, placing the individual in extraordinary conditions is where the real essence of humanity can be revealed.  In this light, endurance lies at the heart of the Lieutenant for he does not capitulate to what he sees and experiences as he sojourns through the battlefield.

This quiet endurance is shown to represent the essence of the Lieutenant in the final scene with his wife, sisters, and mother.  They weep at his condition, seeing his arm amputated.  The Lieutenant for his part does not break down in seeing their uncontrollable sobs.  He does not end his life and he does not run away.  He endures, not quite knowing what is the proper reaction to be displayed.  The Lieutenant is the prototypical soldier whose primary gift or curse, dependent on one's point of view, is endurance.  He endures.  He lives.  This is representative of the Naturalist construction of the individual as one who possesses the capacity to endure being in the world, a condition in which there it little hope of redemption.  Certainly, this quiet endurance that strikes the reader as almost painful despondence is on display in the closing scene of the Lieutenant's narrative.

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An Episode of War

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