Naturalism in the Red Badge of Courage
Naturalism is the belief that nature and fate is a far larger force than man. Another words, no one can control their fate because there are far larger forces than man. There were many examples of naturalism in R B O C. One example was on page 796 in chapter one where the union soldiers were waiting around in camp with absolutely no control over when they were going into battle. The reason this was considered naturalism is because the larger force was the generals and people in charge of the war. The soldiers could not attack the south until told to do so by there commanders. Another example that I found was when the tall soldier (Jim Conklin) dies. One of the reasons his death was so important was because it gave Henry somewhat of an understanding that war is not glorious and people die. Another reason his death was so important is because it basically tells everyone that life is unfair and even if someone such as the tall soldier is the notable soldiers in camp, when it is your time to die, you are going to die. The reason that this is an example of naturalism is because no one except god himself had control over the tall soldier’s death. The final example of naturalism is how nature completely ignores the war and what ever people are doing. In the beginning of the novel, Henry has the perception that war is glorious and will turn him into an instant hero. He had dreamed of dodging bullets, saving people, and doing things that no one else would do which is a highly romanticized version of how war really is. The reason this was thought of as a naturalistic element is because nature doesn’t care about the war, its colors are the exact same color and shades of brown, green, and other nasty colors, opposed to the colors that Henry imagined of royal blues, purples, reds, and gold’s, which hardly ever occur in nature.
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