A Scene from the Mind of Crane
The scene depicted by my diorama begins in Chapter Twelve of The Red Badge of Courage. As Henry is still wandering after fleeing the battle from terror, he finds himself in the middle of yet another battle. In this battle, an entire regiment of men were pushed back in defeat. Henry, horror-stricken, watches these wounded men walk toward him. As the soldiers rush back upon him, Henry reaches for a soldier’s arm and asks him what is happening. The soldier demanded for Henry to let go. In response, the soldier swung his rifle at Henry and hits him in the head, thus giving Henry a “red badge of courage.” This “wound” gives Henry the mark he needs to go back to his regiment without out losing face for running away from the first battle. I chose this scene because I believe it is the climax of the novel. By definition, the climax is the turning point at which the conflict begins to resolve itself for better or worse. This “red badge of courage” allows Henry to return to his regiment and the plot of the novel to move forward. Lastly, I chose this scene because of the irony behind it. Part of Henry’s longing for a wound stems from the fact that he considers a wound to be undeniable proof of courage in battle. Henry’s wounding is ironic because it does not involve courageous behavior on his part. Because the “red badge of courage” would not have occurred had Henry been in battle, this wounding is a disgrace rather than a source of pride.
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