The War Prayer
Written by Mark Twain during the Philippine-American War in the first decade of the twentieth century, The War Prayer tells of a patriotic church service held to send the town's young men off to war. During the service, a stranger enters and addresses the gathering. He tells the patriotic crowd that their prayers for victory are double-edged-by praying for victory they are...more
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I believe I purchased Twain's The War Prayer from an WRL literature offering either in high school (this edition first came out in '68) or during the...more
The reason for Twain's hesitation in publishing this work is obvious after reading it. At the time it was written war was considered to be serving a countries pride.
Even after the end of the kings and their empires we still lived (and live?) in a world where war was considered an evil necessity. Countr...more
During a time of war, as soldiers march to battle, a minister prays for the safety of the troops and victory in their task. After finishing, a man who claims to be from the Throne prays aloud the silent prayer behind the words of the minister. He also tells the congregation that if, after hearing the silent prayer they still want victory in war...
That we may never forget that silent pra...more
The last sentence seals the piece with Twain's characteristic ironic view of things.
"How do you feel about George Bush?"
"I don't really agree with his policie...more
Twain's tone in this is angry, sad, and finally bleak. His view of the situation and most people's thi...more
Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also work...more