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Patriotism is very important in several nations

Patriotism is a term used to describe how people show their love and affection for their country in various countries around the world. Citizens who care for their country believe that their country is more important than others'. People may commit crimes such as genocide, various forms of injustice, and xenophobia in the name of defending their homeland (Yukio 3). Many people fight in a battle to demonstrate their love for their country and their willingness to go to any length to defend it. Writers such as Yukio Mishima and Alfred Lord Tennyson have written about war and patriotism in different ways. Patriotism by Yukio Mishima depicts war and death as a means of being loyal to one's country since sacrificing one's own life is called courageous. The Charge of the Light Brigade by Tennyson shows extreme acts of patriotism and valor just like the work of Mishima. However, in some cases Tennyson sees war as a tragedy but still acknowledges its positive side, by relating it to patriotism. Thus the two authors agree that war is a way of showing patriotism to a nation although Tennyson also associates it with tragedies. Several battles such as the Battle of Balaclava show that patriotic citizens are willing to fight in defence for their nation (Camlot 28). However, death may not be a sign of patriotism since it is depicted painfully in the poems such as in the verse that he mentions the valley of death �Into the valley of death rode the six hundred� (1.7 and 8). Lives were lost during battles due to mistakes made going in the battle, which could have been avoided.
According to Mishima war and death are ways of showing respect and commitment people can have for their country. Shinji takes an oath to fight for his country and risks his life to gain honor. Even though he is a newly married man he forsakes his family for battles because of his concern for the country. Patriotism is expressed in various perspectives such as participation in war. For instance, death and blood play a vital role in the story since they reveal the love one has for his/her country. In Patriotism a young army officer Shinji and his wife kill themselves after spending the night making love. The story gives a different perspective of death in which it is depicted as a show of honor and respectful way of bowing out (Johnson 50). Shinji has vowed to fight for his nation and does not care whether he dies in war or not. In this case, war, death, and shedding blood are associated with loving one�s country and readiness for its protection. The Crimean War fought between 1853 and 1856 between Britain and Russia depicts the extent people can go to protect their sovereign states (Johnson 50). In Tennyson�s work, symbolism is common and death is used to symbolize the negative effect of war. However, similar to Mishima, Tennyson depicts war as an act of patriotism since soldiers go to battles to fight their country�s enemies. Unlike Mishima who depicts death as a way of showing one�s love for his/her nation, Tennyson shows death as a consequence of war. In Tennyson�s poem Sound Check it is clear that the war is intense "Boldly they rode, and well" (Tennyson L. 23). This shows the determination warriors have to defend their country as indicated by the intense of noise made by the warriors on their horses as they go to the battle field. The poem �Valley of Death is one that can haunt the leader since it is the place where charge occurs and can be depicted as a nasty place. This indicates the negative side of war, which haunts people. As a result war should not serve as a way of showing patriotism to one�s country.
Patriotism depicts the emotional effect of war on individual or the people one loves. For instance, the couples� last night events are described emotionally as Shinji faces a big dilemma. He is supposed to fight his best friends but his love for them does not allow him to do it. This shows that war has psychological, sociological, and emotional damage to individuals. Lieutenant Shinji joins the war accepting that he can give his life for the love he has for his country. When he cannot bear the reality of fighting his friends, he and his wife commits suicide "She laid the dagger without a word on the mat before her, just as her husband had laid his sword" (Mishima 696). Clearly, the pain of disobeying his country is too much to bear and he chooses to die instead. Tennyson focuses on war as a major cause of death and pain to humans. In Tennyson�s work, the changing ideas of war and lack of respect of life for people at war especially during the Crimean War are quite clear (Camlot 27). Although it shows what happened, the poem seems to condemn the tragedies that occurred and the hardship people faced. All the actions were directed towards patriotism just like in Mishima�s work. The Light Brigade shows some impending danger as the men ride into the valley of death. Tennyson�s tone is authoritative about patriotism as he tries to call troops into the battle to fight for their beloved nation.
The poem by Tennyson condemns the attack due to the many casualties and therefore going to war was a big blunder. Although he praises the bravery and patriotism of the soldiers it led to massive deaths. The poem makes use of biblical allusion in which the poet quotes Psalm 23 to comfort the men as they go to war (Camlot 27). The soldiers are dedicated to defend their country without question� Theirs but to do and die� (Tennyson 2.7). This indicates that the soldiers were not supposed to question the orders regardless of the danger involved. Even if the soldiers were defending their nation their deaths cannot be justified and the type of patriotism is questionable. Human life should be protected and wars deny people their right to life. Furthermore being forced to war goes against people�s freedom of expression, since the soldiers had to obey without question. Patriotism is a classical Japanese story portraying war and death as a good way of being patriotic to the state (Yukio 4). The story indicates exploitation of heroes who take part in battles leading to their death. The couple love its country so much, to the extent of committing suicide since the Lieutenant was not willing to fight his friends. The moment of death was considered very important since it symbolized a fulfilled or wasted life in Japan (Camlot 29). A soldier is destined to die for his country, which is considered a glorious death. Lieutenant was ready to die since he could not go to the battle. �It was a death of no less degree and quality than death in the front line. It was his conduct on the battlefield that he was now to display� (Mishima 2010, 42). Death depicts the desire for people to leave a good image once they die as warriors and their death was narcissistic expression of self. Although the death of a hero is considered special and unique, the case of Shinji can be described as personal fantasy and exaggeration of bravery and patriotism. There are other ways of showing love for a nation instead of going to the extremes of causing death. In this case, Mishima and Tennyson�s work patriotism is greatly exaggerated since men do not seem to value life. Such kind of dedication is dangerous to the human race since it can lead to destruction.
War is a controversial issue and people have different views with some thinking that it is wicked while others feel that it is a noble idea to show patriotism. Whenever war eruptsseveral deaths occur while many are injured. Mishima and Tennyson depict war as a way of loving and committing to one�s country to show patriotism. Mishima and Tennyson agree that participation in war is in patriotic. However, while Mishima thinks that shedding blood is vital for patriotism, Tennyson does not feel so and associates them with sorrow and despair. The two works are addressing the wars that lead to deaths of many people and the idea of protecting ones� nation.
Works Cited
Camlot, Jason. "The Charge of the Light Brigade (review)." Victorian Review 35.1 (2009): 27-32.
Johnson. �Yukio Mishima, the Unambiguous, and Myself: Living through a Writer�s Legacy�. Advances in Literary Study, 1(04), 50.2013,
Lovelace, Timothy J. The Artistry and Tradition of Tennyson's Battle Poetry. Routledge, 2004.
Mishima,Yukio. "Patriotism." Death in Midsummer and Other Stories (1966): 102.
Tennyson, Alfred Lord. "The charge of the light brigade." (1854).
Yukio, Mishima. "Representations of Death and War in Mishima Yukio�s Ykoku (Patriotism) Thomas Garcin."

September 21, 2021

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