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A Campaign That Failed

  • Date Submitted: 09/24/2012 03:22 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.2 
  • Words: 609
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By sharing the narrator’s personal experience as a soldier, Mark Twain effectively satirize the glory or honor a soldier has.
“A campaign that failed” is a brief version of Twain’s own experience in Civil war. He uses personal perspective to write the story and makes it realistic. Also, he uses personal perspective to expose his private thoughts about being a soldier in the war to readers. The beginning of the story is written in a relaxing way; however, the mood of the story changes to serious and ironic as it goes on. Twain says that he and his fourteen friends formed a military company, which they call themselves as Marion Ranger. He and his friends are town boys and Twain thinks that they have similar characteristics; they are lazy, naïve, selfish, and cowardly. Also, most of them do not have military experiences or military skills.
Twains says the boys are lazy and naive. For instance, nobody cooks in his group. He sees that many of them spending the whole afternoon dozing under the trees, smoking, or playing but no one is going to cook. Even they are hungry, it is hard to get them to cook. Also, no one in his group is willing to secure the picket, and even he and his partner quit the job and go to bed together finally without waiting for the relief guard. He mocks himself that as he and his partner can ride into the camp without interruption or objection from anybody, the enemy can also do the same to attack them because there are no sentries.
The boys are selfish and cowardly. They are selfish because they do not like helping others. For example, when Twain asks Bowers to feed the mule for him, Bowers refuses to help and he says that he would not serve on anybody’s stuff.   Twains says the boys are cowardly because they retreat every time they hear a rumor of the enemy approaching to them without thinking or sending out people to confirm the rumor. Moreover, as Twain and other boys are from town, riding a horse is definitely a hard task for them to do...


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