Red Badge of Courage Essay

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  • Topic: Guilt, Shame, The Railway Series
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Lizzy Wood
The Red Badge of Courage Essay
11.20.11/6th Hour

"At times he regarded the wounded soldiers in an envious way. He conceived persons with torn bodies to be peculiarly happy. He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage." (Ch.9, Pg. 61) Jim Conklin, Wilson, and the tattered man are not only alike in some ways, but also have differences. The purpose of this essay is to tell you the similarities between the tall soldier, the loud soldier, and the tattered man, how they are like or unlike Henry Fleming, and what roles these major characters seem to play in the novel.

Jim Conklin gives Henry the advice to run when others run, fight like mad when they fight and shows more consequences to the battle and doing what he says. He ends up getting so hurt that Henry cannot tell who he is. The tall soldier was in the same regiment as Henry. In some ways Jim shows Henry’s guilty conscience. It shows him that the man was so injured was very courageous it showed him that he lacked that same courage by running away from the fight. Jim is referred to as a “spectral soldier” when his eyes are gazing deep into the unknown when he is slipping into death. It represents that was the meeting point between life and death, and between Henry’s two ideas of war.

Wilson first started out as a new volunteer to the regiment and ended up being Henry’s closest friend. Wilson’s confidence that he possessed when he first joined was now crushed since the first battle. He was deeply afraid that he was going to die. Henry didn’t hear anything from him when he is away from the regiment but when he returns he sees that the loud soldier has too also mature through personal conflicts. He changes from being “the loud soldier” to a quiet, polite, and reflective man; he is no longer emptily boastful. Wilson is almost like a contrast to Henry, who doubts himself in a way that Wilson never could. Henry’s character and experiences has added...
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