The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane Essay

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane Essay

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Standing out more than the other soldiers in his regiment Henry defines his bravery by many different points throughout his experiences. While Henry is just a boy, his self-image is shared very descriptively while Henry tells his mother that he is joining the army. His mother completely rejects his adult decisions of becoming a soldier, but his thoughts were like bricks that could not be moved. Assuring that Henry was not making any rash decisions that he would regret, his mother respects his ideas and allows him to pursue his goal. Henry’s mother shows that she will dignify his decisions, “She had then covered her face with the quilt. There was an end to the matter for that night.” (Crane 5). For Henry’s sake of becoming a man and increasing his self-image, his mother puts her worries aside and lets him go to war. Therefore, Henry, with his decisions of war continues to lack knowledge of reality. His adolescent mind cannot comprehend the horrific scenes of battle, in preparation, he must increase his life visually before he is encouraged to fight for his country. The soldiers in Henry’s regiment tell their stories of battle and how different it really is compared to Henry's life back home. “He was nobody; now he is suddenly special, and this is what he wants.”(Breslin 268) . As Henry continues to be told the stories of men dying, people suffering, and the conditions of war, Henry’s vision of war changes. By understanding how war really is, it enables Henry to become more of a man while he is preparing himself mentally for his first experience in battle. On the other hand, Henry is unaware of how the future will end up. The risks he will have to take and the struggles he will have to overcome in order survive in battle will reveal...


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...ers, 1988. Print.
Jones, Peter G, War and the Novelist: Appraising the American war Novel. University of Missouri Press, 1976. 5-6. Rpt. in Literary Themes for Students, War and Peace. Ed. Anne Marie Hacht. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 449-450. Print.
Pizer, Donald. Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Southern Illinois University Press, 1984. 22-28. Rpt. in Literary Themes for Students, War and Peace, Ed. Anne Marie Hacht. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 447-449. Print.
“The Red Badge of Courage.” Literary Themes for Students. Ed. Anne Marie Hacht. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 439-447. Print.
“The Red Badge of Courage.” Novels for Students, Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 253-264. Print.
Richardson, Mark. “The Red Badge of Courage.” American Writers. Ed. Jay Parini. Vol. 1. New York: 2003. 237-255. Print.


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