During the clip period of Ambrose Bierce, much alteration was traveling on in the universe. The state was divided. Slavery was the issue and it was doing major turbulence in the United States. There was serious political convulsion environing bondage, and it resulted in provinces splintering from the Union. The American Civil War was so fought, and 1000s of people were killed or injured. After the war, the state was seeking to reconstruct what was lost. Many people had lost so much in the war, such as loved 1s, land, places, and money. This was a clip of unhappiness and loss.
The Civil War, more than any other event, influenced Bierce ‘s authorship. Bierce enlisted in the Union Army ‘s 9th Indiana Infantry Regiment at the beginning of the war ( Wikipedia.org ) . He fought in many different conflicts during his clip in the ground forces. The brushs he had during the war, merely added to his misanthropic nature. He was really affected by the things he did, proverb, and heard during the war. These experiences overflowed into his Hagiographas. In a missive to a friend during the war, he wrote, “ Since go forthing Cleveland, Tennessee, my brigade has lost about one 3rd its Numberss killed and wounded. Among these were so many good work forces who could ill be spared from the ground forces and the universe. And yet I am left ” ( Joshi and Schultz, 1 ) . Bierce seems to be stating that he does n’t believe of himself as a good individual, and wondered why all these work forces are deceasing and non him. This truly illustrates his cynicism. I think it shows that he has low ego regard and that he is non worthy to populate, when others all around him are deceasing. He wrote so many short narratives about the Civil War. These narratives were largely “ anti-war sarcasms, stressing the ferociousness and human wreckage of war ” ( Hopkins, 12 ) . In the narrative, A Son of the Gods, he writes, “ All these hardened and unrepentant man-killers, to whom decease in its awfulest signifiers is a fact familiar to their every-day observation ; ” ( Bierce, 60 ) . This transition exemplifies Bierce ‘s temperament about the war. Work force are turned into unblushing slayers and where killing because modus operandi. At the terminal of the narrative, Bierce writes, “ Ah, those many, many gratuitous dead! ” ( Bierce,67 ) This statement to me shows that Bierce believes that many died in the Civil War pointlessly, and this lone adds to his cynicism. Many of his Civil War narratives depict this subject of deceasing pointlessly. In One Officer, One Man, the chief character, Captain Graffenreid, needlessly kills himself because he is scared. Private Jeremy Searing is pointlessly killed in the short narrative, One of the Missing. Bierce ‘s sardonic nature besides comes out in this narrative when he has Jeremy ‘s brother unwittingly detect his organic structure. His first manus cognition about tactics used in the Civil War and about the day-to-day adversities of being a soldier comes across in these narratives and so many of his other Civil War narratives.
Bierce married his married woman, Mary Ellen “ Mollie ” Day, on December 25, 1871 ( Wikipedia.org ) . His matrimony besides influenced his authorship in several ways. To Thee My Darling and Seranade where love poems that Bierce wrote to his future bride while they were dating, ( Grenandar, xiv ) . His love for her is apparent in Seranade when he writes,
Of adult female ‘s traditional knowledge give me no more
Than how to love, — in many
A lingua work forces bash: she speaks them all
Who says “ I love, ” in any.
Subsequently on in Bierce ‘s matrimony, he discovers love missive from another adult male to his married woman. Finally this led to them being lawfully separated in 1888 and accordingly divorced in 1904 ( Wikipedia.org ) . Already a misanthropic adult male, his stormy matrimony and the death of it added to his resentment. This showed in his Hagiographas. His poesy that he wrote about his married woman changed. It is said that the verse form, Onieromancy, reflects his feelings about his married woman at this clip:
I fell asleep and dreamed that I
Was flung, like Vlucan, from the sky ;
Like him, was lamed-another portion:
His leg was crippled, and my bosom.
I woke in clip to see my love
Hide a missive in her baseball mitt.
This poem clearly states how he was hurt by the find of the letters his married woman had received. His positions about matrimony can besides be seen in the verse form, Understated:
“ I ‘m regretful I married, ” says Upton Sinclair:
“ The conjugal position is atrocious! –
The Satan ‘s device, a psychotic belief and trap. ”
Worse, far worse than that-it is lawful!
This verse form, while diverting, clearly shows a form with his other Hagiographas that matrimony is the distressing. In The Devil ‘s Dictionary, he included several definitions that support this. For illustration the definition he gave for nuptials was: “ A ceremonial at which two individuals undertake to go one, one undertakes to go nil, and nil undertakes to go bearable ” . Other definitions found in The Devil ‘s Dictionary that lend credibleness are his definitions for love and felicity: “ Love, n. A impermanent insanity curable by matrimony or by remotion of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the upset ; Happiness, n. An agreeable esthesis originating from contemplating the wretchedness of another ” . Ambrose Bierce ‘s failed matrimony merely added fuel to his irony and cynicism.
All authors are influenced by the universe around them. Ambrose Bierce is no exclusion. The events in Ambrose Bierce ‘s life helped determine his bitter and misanthropic authorship manner. While his resentment about life started early on, it continued to turn by the events in his life. The most influential event was his service in the Army. His experiences on the battleground had a major consequence on his perceptual experience of the Civil War and added to his pessimism. Additionally, the convulsion in his matrimony, which led to disassociate, besides shaped who he was as a author. Ambrose Bierce is everlastingly known for his contemptuous and belittling composing manner. If he had been raised in a affluent household, during a different epoch, and had a loving matrimony, so he would non hold been able to make such acrimonious and misanthropic pieces of literature.