Red Badge Of Courage

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Red Badge Of Courage


Red badge of courage
By: zach stevenson
E-mail: zac_s8@yahoo.com

The Red Badge of Courage The Red Badge of Courage, by Steven Crane, has been proclaimed
one of the greatest war novels of all time. It is a story that realistically depicts the
American Civil War through the eyes of Henry Fleming, an ordinary farm boy who decides to
become a soldier. Henry, who is fighting for the Union, is very determined to become a
hero, and the story depicts Henrys voyage from being a young coward, to a brave man. This
voyage is the classic trip from innocence to experience. The story starts out with a
heated debate between the soldiers. One boy had heard a rumor that the regiment would be
moving on to fight a battle the next day. Some of the soldiers agree with this boy, while
others think that their regiment will never partake in a real battle. While watching this
argument, Henry, the protagonist, decides that he would rather go lay down and think
rather then take part in the heated argument between the soldiers. Henry, a simple farm
boy, is rather excited when he hears the rumor that they will be fighting soon. It had
always been a dream of his to fight in a war, and become a hero, and now his dream was
coming true. Henry begins to think about what life was like before he entered the army,
and remembers the stories of war he has heard from old veterans. This flashback is very
effective in showing how his previous experiences have affected his thoughts on war now.
It is blatantly obvious that he is afraid that he will not be able to withstand the
pressures of a battle. He keeps telling himself that if he wants to become a hero, he can
not run away. He must stick out the battle with the rest of his comrades. While marching
along, Henry sees the first corpse he has ever seen. He shows pity for the man, because
the dead man had died in such poor conditions. The souls of his shoes were worn bare. When
Henry sees the corpse, he begins to wonder if his generals actually know what they are
doing. He thinks that the generals are leading him right into a trap, right into the
middle of the rebels. Henry deals with his fear of battle by acting arrogant. He acts as
if he has been in a thousand battles, and complains about the walking, even though the
reader knows that he would rather be walking forever then go to battle at this point in
time. It shows one of Henry's defense mechanisms, how he uses his arrogance to hide his
innocence. Regiment 304 moves on to battle the next day. Henry becomes very scared, but is
too proud to talk to any of the others soldiers about his fears. All the soldiers are very
anxious to fight in the war, and Tom and Henry talk about how they are not going to run
away from war, and how they want to become big time war heroes. This is ironic, because in
the end of the book their wishes come true. When the battle starts, all the soldiers get
very anxious and nervous. Tom and Henry don't turn out to be as brave as they think that
they could be. While hiding, Tom finds Henry, and gives him a manila envelope of letters
for his family. Tom believes that this will be his first and his last battle. Henry ends
up fulfilling his worst nightmare. Instead of sticking out the battle with the rest of his
regiment, he hides behind some brush in order to spare himself from dying. He listens in
on the battle, and to much of his surprise, he hears cheering from what's left of his
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