The Red Badge Of Courage Analysis

Pages: 5 (1013 words) Published: March 23, 2018


In a poem describing The Red Badge of Courage, Crane wrote, “Tell the brave deeds of war. Then they recounted tales - there were stern stands and bitter runs for glory. Ah, I think there were braver deeds.” In the first four lines, Crane speaks Romantically of the brave deeds of war, but in the last line he speaks Naturalistically of them. Stephen Crane saw the world in both a Naturalistic and a Romantic way, and this shows in his writing. In both The Red Badge of Courage and The Veteran, Crane toys with the ideas of both Naturalism and Romanticism, but he favors Romanticism.
In The Red Badge of Courage, Crane wrote with both a Naturalistic point of view and a Romantic point of view. In Chapter 22, the enemy soldiers had...

In the beginning, people looked up to Henry because of his title, but didn’t know what it meant. “Moreover, they knew that he had ranked as an orderly sergeant, and so their opinion of his heroism was fixed. None, to be sure, knew how an orderly sergeant ranked, but then it was understood to be somewhere just shy of a major-general’s stars.” His rank, a societal force, caused them to respect him rather than the brave deeds he had done during the war. Later on, Henry’s barn caught on fire, endangering the lives of the livestock, and Henry took swift action. “With his opened knife in his hand old Fleming himself had gone headlong into the barn, where the stifling smoke swirled with the air currents, and where could be heard in its fulness [sic] the terrible chorus of the flames, laden with tones of hate and death, a hymn of wonderful ferocity.” This scene starkly contrasts one from Chapter 7 of The Red Badge of Courage, in which Henry runs from a battle that the Union won. “The youth cringed as if discovered in a crime. By heavens, they had won after all!” In quite a Romantic manner, Crane allows Henry to redeem himself for running from the battle by rushing valiantly into the burning barn. At the end, Henry dies in a fire, but Romanticism shows through in his death. “He rushed into the barn. When the roof fell in, a great funnel of smoke swarmed toward the sky, as if the old man’s mighty spirit, released from...

The people around Chancellorsville serve as an example of this. During the battle of Chancellorsville, Sue Chancellor hid in the guest house with her family, observing the devastation of the battle. “There were piles of legs and arms outside of the sitting room window and rows and rows of dead bodies.” Despite the grim battle, one Confederate soldier managed to Romanticize a part of the event. After a significant victory, General Lee rode to the front of the battalions. “(Lee) sat in the full realization of all that soldiers dream of - triumph; and as I looked upon him in the complete fruition of his success which his genius, courage, and confidence in his army had won, I thought it must have been from some such a scene that men in the ancient days ascended to the dignity of the gods.” Despite having witnessed a great struggle just moments before, the soldier recognized the important victory and remembered it in a Romantic light. In Chapter 23, Crane gave Henry quite a similar conviction in the midst of the arduous battle in which Henry observed that “the swift wings of their desires would have shattered against the iron gates of the impossible.” While charging, Henry has a little bit of introspection that shows the Romantic side of Crane’s writing. “He himself felt the daring spirit of a savage religion mad. He was capable of profound...
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