A Mystery of Heroism Questions and Answers
by Stephen Crane

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What are examples of personification in A Mystery of Heroism?

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By using personification, Stephen Crane gives agency to the war overall and to the battles in particular. By writing as if the events are playing human roles or have human feelings, Crane makes it seem that the human beings are not directing the operations but instead are at the mercy of impersonal forces and inanimate objects.

In one place Crane describes the “demeanors” of the artillery.

The guns, with their demeanors of stolidity and courage, were typical of something infinitely selfpossessed….

As the onslaught accelerates, the shells strike a meadow below. The author says the meadow is “suffering” and, using understatement, is no longer “calm.”

the little meadow which intervened was now suffering a terrible onslaught of shells. Its green and beautiful calm had vanished utterly.

The bombing continues to worsen, and men and buildings are being hit everywhere. Crane now personifies the entire situation, also ironically calling this disastrous situation an “angel" which glances...

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