The Red Badge of Courage Essay

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Nadia Sloat
Ms. D’Andrea
English III
3 December 2012
Henry and his maturity
When someone thinks of a mature person some qualities that might come to mind are honesty, humility, and respect. Unfortunately they are traits that not everyone poses and some may never poses. In the beginning of the novel Henry is a whiney, unrealistic teenager. However overtime he starts to develop some traits that lead to him acting more mature, and adult-like in the environment he is in. In The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, Henry goes from being an immature teenager to demonstrating traits of an adult and reevaluates his own personal values of wanting the fame and glory of being a soldier, and also his value of taking responsibility for his actions.

The first value that causes Henry’s maturity to change is his idea of why he joined the war. In the beginning of the novel Henry enlists in the army without really asking the main question of why he enlists in the first place. For Henry he got the fame he was looking for, he said, “As he basked in the smiles of the girls… he had felt growing within him the strength to do mighty deeds of arms” (Crane 6). This quote demonstrates Henry’s longing to be recognized as a hero not actually fight in the war. Henry’s immaturity is shown here because it validates that Henry did not seriously think through his decision on enlisting instead the only thing he thought of was the fame and glory. Henry however does get a taste of reality when he actually has to fight and in a way he does mature. At this point in the novel Henry’s regiment is on its way to participate in their first battle. Henry is thinking about what he is doing. As he is marching in with the other soldiers, “As he perceived this fact it occurred to him that he had never wished to come to the war” (Crane 21). The quote demonstrates that Henry is finally facing reality. Henry matures a little at this point in the novel because the quote reveals that Henry is...
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