The Red Badge of Courage Analysis Paper

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 540
  • Published : February 26, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

During the civil war, Henry Fleming was a recruit of the 304th Union Regiment. Henry joined the army because he was enticed by the fame and glory of military conflict but constantly struggled with the idea of courage. In the beginning, the recruitment was waiting with only rumors of movement, but finally traveled for days. The first battle was won by the Union, but Henry was startled awake for a second battle and retreats, convincing himself he had the proper judgment. Henry eventually wanders back to the wounded soldiers who he deems to wear the wounds “like a red badge of courage.” He finds a tattered soldier who joins him in attempting to aid Jim Conklin, the mouth of the rumors, but ultimately dies. Henry leaves the tattered man to die while he runs to find the battle where he gets a minor injury. The next day, the Union returns to battle with Henry fighting in memoriam of Jim Conklin. Henry finishes the battle victoriously, reflecting on the journey. He felt ashamed at his first retreat, at leaving the tattered man to die, but realized he pushed through the “red sickness of battle,” feeling a new sense of pride and manhood. Character Analysis

Henry Fleming, the major character in The Red Badge of Courage, was naïve and somewhat selfish in the beginning but his character progressed to be honorable. For example, he was commonly referred to as “the youth” and “the young soldier” all throughout the story because he, unlike the veteran soldiers whom he encountered during his first battle, was not jaded. He believed in the traditional ideals of honor and courage. The majority of his passion was based on fantasies that made him seem self-centered or vain. When Henry was finally thrust into battle, he felt a “temporary but sublime absence of selfishness” (The Red Badge of Courage 142). As he fought in the battle his character changes from one of naivety to one immersed in battle. Henry’s ideal...
tracking img