The Importance of Reading War Stories

Scourged Souls by Keith Niles Corman is a powerful work of literature that can take us back in time to the American Civil War. It is essentially a war story that goes beyond the war itself. It tells magnificent tales of love, courage, loss, and destruction using the experiences of characters whose lives cross (whether directly or indirectly through relationships) for brief few days during a horrifying battle. In general, Scourged Souls is a moving and provocative masterpiece that can teach us so many things about war, including its harsh reality and the different viewpoints surrounding it. Like Scourged Souls by Keith Niles Corman, there are plenty of other war stories we can read out there! These stories generally illustrate different experiences and convey different messages, but they all reflect one similar thing: how necessary it is to read war stories. There are various reasons behind the importance of reading war stories.

Raising Awareness

Stories are a way of opening our eyes and raising our awareness about certain issues. War stories, particularly, raise our awareness about the many issues that come with war. Generally, most of us only know about war at surface level. We only know that it occurs when two or more countries or organizations go into conflict against one another. More often than not, however, we are clueless about why war occurs in the first place and what its effects are. In other words, most of us only know the what’s and when’s of war but not its why’s and how’s. War stories help us understand all of them. These war stories give us a glimpse not just of what war looks like but also of what it feels like to live in war. In essence, war stories help us understand that war is more than just a conflict between two opposing parties – war affects many people in many different ways.

Understanding History

War stories are usually filled with facts, narrations, and perspectives. Because of this, war stories are also a great way of understanding history. War stories provides us with the most essential details that we need to know about a particular war – who the actors, what the actors do, what events led the actors to act in certain ways, who the casualties are, and what the impacts of war are on both the actors and the casualties. Oftentimes, war stories chronicle the important events of a war in the most compelling way so that we can absorb them easily. Instead of memorizing mere names and dates, war stories help us learn the history of a war in a more profound and interesting way.

Cultivating Empathy

War stories usually have an emotional atmosphere. In these kinds of stories, the characters are often dealing with a loss (e.g. loss of a parent, friend, comrade, partner, or others) or overcoming certain adversities. For this reason, war stories are generally an effective way of inducing certain emotions and cultivating empathy among us. When we read war stories, we sometimes cannot help but be affected by the things that are happening to the characters. Oftentimes, war stories carry a huge emotional resonance for us as readers. In essence, war stories do not only teach us how to look at war but also how to feel about it in a deeper sense.

Realizing Truths

War stories help us realize certain truths about life. For one, it helps us recognize the sad reality that war has always been present in our lives mostly because the nature of conflict has changed over time. As the world becomes more and more complicated, war has also increasingly become a commonplace, a casual choice in times of conflict. Nonetheless, war stories also help us realize that more often than not, war begins with differences – differences in opinions, beliefs, perspectives, and others. So, if we try to overcome these differences without resorting automatically to violence, then there is a hope for war to be minimized or avoided in its entirety.

Overall, the importance of reading war stories lies mostly in their ability to enlighten us. Even though these stories only contain words and images, they are powerful enough to open our eyes, minds, and hearts. As illustrated in Scourged Souls by Keith Niles Corman, the ultimate reality is that war is harsh and leaves scar on many people. War stories help us realize this and all the other realities surrounding war. By reading war stories, we are not only informing ourselves, but we are also allowing ourselves to become critical and empathetic as humans.


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