“The War Prayer “, a short story or prose poem by Mark Twain , is a scathing indictment of war , and particularly of blind patriotic and religious fervor as motivations for war .
The irony , as noted by the stranger who comments on this silent prayer , is that it is directed supposedly “in the spirit of love” to “Him who is the Source of Love” (398).
He is warning the people that their prayers are hypocritical to their setting and their meaning of praying in general. This short story revealed to me that what the stranger is trying to advise the race of, is so relevant in society today.
In “The War Prayer ” by Mark Twain, he depicts a scene of a town preparing for war . They are incredibly happy and patriotic, they are praising the soldiers, and the families without a member to send into the war are envious of those who do. Everyone wants the glory of a victory.
Then comes what Twain calls ”the long prayer ”. The preacher prays for the soldiers to guarantee their safety and to win their battles. He says ”make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory”
The poem gives a detailed discussion of wars, events that led to wars, the brutal truth about what happened in battlefields, and the aftermaths of wars. Most people define realism as the brutal truth. Realism had been used significantly in both The War Prayer and Sympathy.
The author is drawing a contrast between two things by saying that a whole nation saves itself during prayer before God but actually they have no idea that they are begging the devastation of other nation before God.
Verbal irony. Because when he said “It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.” , he didn’t mean what he was saying , so it is verbal irony.
On March 22, 1905, a famous author received a rejection letter from one of the most powerful publishers of the era, calling his latest piece “not quite suited to a woman’s magazine.” The publisher was Harper’s Bazaar, the author Samuel Langhorne Clemens — better known as Mark Twain — and the piece The War Prayer, a