Red Badge of Courage

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Red Badge of Courage

Stephen Crane has written many remarkable poems, short stories,

and novels throughout his short life (He lived only to the age

of 29). The Red Badge of Courage is a tale of war, life,

responsibility, and duty. It has been considered the first ^great

modern novel of war^(Alfred Kazin). It traces the effects of war on

Henry Fleming, a Union soldier, through his dreams of battle, his

enlistment, and his experience through serveral battles of the Civil


Henry, ^the youth^, was a young man who lived on a farm with

his mother. He dreamed about what fighting in a war would be

like, and dreamed of being a hero. He dreamed of the battles of war,

and of what it would be like to fight in those glorious battles. His

mother was a wise, caring woman who had strong convictions about not

wanting Henry to goto war. She is a very hardworking woman, and loves

her son a great deal. She gave him hundreds of reasons why he was

needed on the farm and not in the war. Henry knew his mother would not

want him to enlist, but it was his decision to make. He dreamed of the

battles of war, and of what it would be like to fight in those glorious

battles. He didn^t want to stay on the farm with nothing to do, so he

made his final decision to enlist.

After enlisting he finds himself in a similar situation, with

nothing to do. While there he becomes friends with two other

soldiers, John Wilson, ^the loud soldier / ^the friend^ and Jim

Conklin, ^the tall soldier^. Wilson was a loud spoken and obnoxious

soldier who becomes one of Henry^s best friends. Jim was a tall

soldier and was a childhood friend of Henry^s. He was always calm and

matter-of-fact like. He also loves pork sandwiches as that is all he

eats. Wilson was as excited about going to war as Henry, while Jim was

confident about the success of the new regiment. Wilson is acts very

confident, and boasts of how well he will fight. After a few days of

marching, Henry realizes that they have been wandering about aimlessly

in circles. They continue to march wothout purpose, direction, and

fighting. During this time Henry starts to think diffrently about war,

amore close experienced way. He starts to lose some of his ideals of

war, and starts to become scared of running away from a batlle.
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