"The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares. A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army's feet; and at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp fires set in the low brows of distant hills" (Crane 1). The above quote is the opening paragraph of Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage. Just this one paragraph foreshadows the themes of change in color and its underlying messages, and the subtle idea of social heritage. Crane, through his detailed writing, colors the war as an ever changing psychological standing as well as the changing ideals of the socially learned heritage.
The novel opens with Henry Fleming in the field and remembering the route to his current condition within the war. Crane spends a good amount of time relaying the interaction between Henry and his mother as he prepares to go off to fight in the war as well as the questioning of himself as a man. What is so interesting about this particular part, as it relates to the end of the novel, is that the America ideals of the creation of a man (hero) through war and war as beautiful are approached and challenged.
Henry's mother isn't pleased with his going off to war. She warns him against not only the enemy but also the men he shall be fighting with. "He had, of course, dre...
... middle of paper ...
... the flag, the reader can see both flags in color upon a still black and white background. And finally, by the end, when Henry and his fellow men awaken to their victory, everything is in color of hope.
Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage formed circles of the two themes of heritage and color. While interchanging romanticism and deromanticism, Crane is able to create a complete three hundred and sixty degree rotation of the ideas of manhood, heroism, and attitudes of war (the fluctuating colors). The novel opens with the question of warriors equaling men and heroes, and ends with the answer. The novel begins full of color and ends with color. "Over the river a golden ray of sun came through the hosts of leaden rain clouds" (Crane 183).
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. Barnes and Noble Classics, 1992.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Theme of Courage in Red Badge of Courage The Red Badge of Courage is a fictional psychological portrait of a young soldier named Henry Fleming, tracing the thread of his emotions and reactions to events that transpire during an unnamed battle of the Civil War (spark notes). Henry is an average farmer from New York. Henry wants to go to war and become a hero like the one he read about in his school. The story starts off with everyone sitting in regiment camp by the river with rumors flowing around.... [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]
1137 words (3.2 pages)
- Maturation in Catcher in the Rye and Red Badge of Courage The Catcher in the Rye and The Red Badge of Courage detail the gradual maturation of two immature boys into self-reliant young men. The steady speed at which Salingerís and Craneís language streams enables the reader to see the independent events that lead up to the ultimate rite of passage for both Henry and Holden. Although the pinnacle of maturity Holden reached concerned his pessimistic view of the world and Henryís was a unifying moment of bravery, both boys experienced an epiphany over the course of their respective tales.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1430 words (4.1 pages)
- Use of Color in Crane's The Red Badge of Courage The Red Badge of Courage uses both color imagery and color symbols. While Crane uses color to describe, he also allows it to stand for whole concepts. Gray, for example, describes the both the literal image of a dead soldier and Henry Fleming's vision of the sleeping soldiers as corpses and comes to stand for the idea of death. In the same way, red describes both the soldiers' physical wounds and Fleming's mental visions of battle. In the process, it gains a symbolic meaning which Crane will put to an icon like the "red badge of courage" (110, Penguin ed., 1983).... [tags: Crane The Red Badge of Courage]
1652 words (4.7 pages)
- Flag Power in The Red Badge of Courage Henry Fleming, after receiving his red badge of courage‹a blow to the head‹takes over the role of color-bearer during a vicious combat. As he sees his comrade sink to the ground in pain, he fights with his friend Wilson for the esteemed position of flag-bearer and finally wrenches the Union colors from the grasp of the dying man. With the flag in hand, Henry feels immediately empowered; the ubiquitous symbol of freedom and courage invests him with his own power and valiancy as he rushes headlong towards the enemy lines.... [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]
1161 words (3.3 pages)
- The Red Badge of Courage - Henry is No Hero In The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane explores the theme of courage and heroism in depth. He develops these themes through the main character, Henry Fleming. Henry is a naïve young man faced with the harsh realities of war, in this book, some argue that Henry is transformed into a heroic "quiet manhood" while others see Henry as the same young man who ran from battle in the beginning of the book. I think Henry doesn't change, his heroic status acquired at the end of the book isn't truly him, instead he merely is motivated by fear of dying and being rejected by his fellow soldiers.... [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]
899 words (2.6 pages)
- The Red Badge of Courage as a Naturalistic Work with Realistic Tendencies The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, one of the most significant and renowned books in American literature, defies outright classification, showing traits of both the realist and naturalist movements. It is a classic, however, precisely because it does so without sacrificing unity or poignancy. The Red Badge of Courage belongs unequivocally to the naturalist genre, but realism is also present and used to great effect.... [tags: The Red Badge of Courage]
1669 words (4.8 pages)
- Heroism in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage The world of Stephen Crane's fiction is a cruel, lonely place. Man's environment shows no sympathy or concern for man; in the midst of a battle in The Red Badge of Courage "Nature had gone tranquilly on with her golden process in the midst of so much devilment" (89). Crane frequently anthropomorphizes the natural world and turns it into an agent actively working against the survival of man. From the beginning of "The Open Boat" the waves are seen as "wrongfully and barbarously abrupt and tall" (225) as if the waves themselves had murderous intent.... [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]
1786 words (5.1 pages)
- Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage When reading the Red Badge of Courage, it is necessary to understand the symbolism that Stephen Crane has created throughout the whole book. Without understanding the true intent of color use, this book loses a meaningful interpretation that is needed to truly understand the main character, his feelings and actions. Crane uses very distinct colors in his text to represent various elements that the main character, Henry or “the youth”, is feeling along his adventure of enlisting into battle.... [tags: Stephen Crane Red Badge Courage Essays]
1234 words (3.5 pages)
- The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane The first steps in war are the steps of overcoming the line of comfort by solving the self-centered beliefs that will break you in a battlefront. Once overcoming those selfish traits and believe in yourself, that is when one flourish on the battle field.... [tags: crane red badge courage]
880 words (2.5 pages)
- Isolation in The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane's literary technique has long been a matter of analysis and speculation. In The Red Badge of Courage Crane takes us into the life of a young man named Henry Fleming, who wants to enlist in the Army and fight in the war against the South. By using irony, similes, and symbols, Crane "paints" a vivid picture of what life was like for the fragile Henry Fleming. He opens our eyes to the vast reasons of separation for Fleming, and why he lived his life so independently.... [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]
761 words (2.2 pages)