Stephen Crane begins the novel with a description of the fields in the morning: " As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors" (1). The fog clears to reveal the literal green world of grass. It also reveals another green world, the world of the youth. Like school children, the young soldier tells rumors within the regiment. This natural setting provides an ironic place for killing, just as these men seem to be the wrong ones fighting in the Civil War. Stephen Crane says something on this in the narrative: " He was aware that these battalions with their commotions were woven red and startling into the gentle fabric of the softened greens and browns. It looked to be a wrong place for the battlefield" (26).
Green is an image of the natural world and of the army's youth, while red in the previous quote is clearly and image of battle. In the beginning, however, Crane uses red to describe distant campfires: " one could see across the red, eye-like gleam of the hostile campfires set in the low brows of the distant hills" (1). Obviously, the fires are red, but Henry characterizes the blazes as the enemy's glowing eyes. He continues this metaphor in the second chapter: " From... [continues]
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