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Love's Whipping BoyViolence and Sentimentality in the American Imagination$
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Elizabeth Barnes

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834565

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877968_barnes

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The Death of Boyhood and the Making of Little Women

The Death of Boyhood and the Making of Little Women

(p.123) Chapter 4 The Death of Boyhood and the Making of Little Women
Love's Whipping Boy

Elizabeth Barnes

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines Melville's poem “The March into Virginia,” which was written about the first major battle of the Civil War at Manassas, Virginia. The poem comments with critical but resigned admiration on the reckless and glorious audacity of youth. The battle of Bull Run, as it was popularly known in the North, was fought between young and inexperienced soldiers on both the Union and the Confederate sides, and Melville attempts to capture the spirit of boys whose martial ambition and ideological ardor will lead them into engagements that many older, and perhaps wiser, men have already put behind them.

Keywords:   Melville, March into Virginia, Civil War, Manassas, Virginia, audacity of youth

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