Sunday, November 14, 2010

What, according to Ruskin, can women do to prevent war?

While discussing the role of the soldiers in wars, Ruskin does not forget to mention the role of women in shaping the destiny of soldiers. He calls women as the souls of soldiers. If women fail in their part, soldiers will also fail in the discharge of their duty. Women are, in fact, absolute helpmates without whose help and aid no man can stand on his own.

Women generally think that it is their duty to render help to men in their hour of peril. They are courageous enough to bear up against the pangs of separation, suspense and grief for the death of their dear ones. But there is a greater heroism, that is, the heroism in prosperity. This heroism is revealed when their young soldiers are in the bloom of their vanity and mothers and maidens must pray for the moral welfare of their sons and lovers. It is during these hours of prosperity that there is the greatest danger of their being led into paths of evil. Women can shape the lives of men as they desire. They can make their husbands brave and wise as well as coward and foolish. It all depends on the influence they exercise over them. They provide them peace through all the world’s warfare and they accord them praise in the win of the world. They brighten, all that is dark in them.
Ruskin is of the view that women are responsible for poverty, misery and rage of battle throughout Europe. If they wish, no war in the world would last long. If wars smashed the China in the drawing-rooms of ladies, instead of unroofing peasants’ houses, no war in civilized countries would last a week, Every battle makes many widows and orphans. Nobody has a sincere heart to mourn with these. If every Christian lady takes a vow to mourn, at least outwardly for God’s killed creatures, war would end. If every lady in the upper classes of civilized, Europe simply vows that while war continues, she will wear black garments, as a symbol of mourning, no war would last a week. And lastly, Ruskin says that women should not vainly boast of their son’s or husband’s bravery. The mothers should teach their sons to be just and perfect in the Fear of God and they should not hail the bravery of their sons which is but a fool’s boast and then there will be no war.

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