The Red Badge Of Courage, By Stephen Crane

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War is not meant to be glorified. War is not meant to look easy. Stephen Crane was one of the few authors during his era who realized this fantasy-like aura around war and battles and decided to do something about it. The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, was inspired by Crane’s life and his desire to portray the realistic side of war. According to bio.com, Stephen Crane was born on November 1, 1871 in Newark, New Jersey. He was the 14th and youngest child whose father was a minister and mother was a writer and suffragist. Writing was common in Crane’s family as both of his parents wrote many articles, and a few of his brothers were journalists (Poetry Foundation- “Stephen Crane”). Crane’s personal career in literature began during…show more content…
The descriptions of war that he read in magazines were usually dry and too matter-of-fact. He also believed that they lacked connection to the real emotions that are brought about by warfare; “dates and locations of battles cannot even begin to reproduce the essence of combat” (“Naturalism”). Due to his yearning to learn more and provide a realistic representation of war, Crane researched many aspects of the battlefield and often referred to scenes he wrote about as “skirmishes on the football field” (“Biography of Stephen Crane”). Ultimately, Crane “saw the opportunity to craft the first novel that explored warfare from the point of view of the psyche” and he “attempt[ed] to show that humans were not designed to commit such atrocities on each other”…show more content…
According to The Poetry Foundation, critics have had numerous debates on what literary movement The Red Badge of Courage should be classified as. Crane’s novel has been considered a work of realism, naturalism, impressionism, and symbolism. Those who view the novel as realistic see it as the “first unromanticized account of the Civil War” and a truthful depiction of war and soldiers (Poetry Foundation). The naturalistic viewers believe that the characters and experiences of the novel “are shaped by social, biological, and psychological forces” (Poetry Foundation). The Red Badge of Courage also displays many unique symbols and images and also a “consistent use of color imagery” which leads critics to classify the novel as Symbolistic and Impressionistic as well (Poetry Foundation). To sum up the literary movement of the novel, Edwin H. Cady stated, “’The very secret of the novel’s power inheres in the inviolably organic uniqueness with which Crane adapted all four methods to his need. The Red Badge’s method is all and none’” (Poetry
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