Red Badge of Courage

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Henry Fleming and The red Badge of Courage

The main character of this book is Henry Fleming, mostly referred to as The Youth or Youth. The Youth has dark, curly brown hair also; he is a young teenager and is average height when compared to the Tall Soldier. Henry is insecure because he is going through a difficult stage between being a "man" and being a "boy". Henry can't wait to get to war when he signs up but during the book Henry learns that war has a lot of affects on people emotionally and physically. Henry's flaw is that he is afraid of making himself look bad and he is worried that he is going to be a coward and run away from battle. Henry really wants to be a "man" and be courageous. I once heard a swim coach give an extremely good definition of courage. He said "To me courage is not to be unafraid but it is to be afraid but one does it anyways and doesn't worry about being afraid. I think Henry thought of courageous as fearless and that is also part of his flaw.

The first time Henry's flaw gets him in trouble is in chapter 10 and when he gets his chance to go into battle he flees. He at first thinks the war is boring but he soon learns that war is very frightening. When Henry flees he also shows insecurity when he tries to make up an excuse for why he wasn't with the rest of the regiment. Henry thinks very poorly of himself at this point and really anyone would run from a war, I don't think he was ready.

The second time Henry's flaw is evident is in chapter 12 when Henry tries to stop a man to ask what is going on with the battle since he ran away. The man was also trying to get away and hit Henry on the head with his rifle. This is evidence of his flaw because if he hadn't run away then he wouldn't have to bother this man. Henry is also too afraid to go back without any knowledge of what happened.

The first time Henry's flaw improves is when he is mad at himself for running away from the battle and he...
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