Red Badge of Courage Essay

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The Red Badge of Courage is a fictional short novel that was written by Stephen Crane in 1895. It is unique in the way that it changed the American view on how a war novel should be written. Previous war novels were written in a way that made two or more armies clash in a larger point of view. Crane wrote in the perspective of one man named Private Henry Fleming. Crane depicts how Henry is feeling, seeing, and what he is going through during the civil war. He is about to go untested into battle with his life hanging in the balance. Will he be able to survive?

Henry Fleming is a young man who wants to fight for his country. His mother does not want him to enlist because she fears for his life. Going against his mothers wished Henry enlists in the army anyways. His mother feeling overcome with grief still supports and loves her son in his decision, and does all she can to help him before he embarks on his journey. While in camp waiting for a chance to fight Henry cannot help to feel apprehensive. He is not sure whether he will stand in fight or run away scared when the time comes. After not fighting for weeks his regiment finally engages the enemy and Henry feeling a sense of unity and bond with the men around him and knew he could not flee them in their moment of need.

Henry believes he has passed some sort of trial. He stood in the face of death and battled back, and perceives himself magnificent for doing so. Yet that same day when his regiment is resting they receive a surprise attack from the men of the south. Instead of staying and fighting Henry lets fear over come him and runs into a forest to save his own life. He believes he has done the right things as he does not think anyone who stayed and fought could still be alive. During Henry’s scramble for survival he see’s two officers in a discussion and overhears how his regiment held off the surprise attack. Overcome with guilt Henry dejectedly wonders around trying to find his regiment. He comes...
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