Steven Crane's Role in the Literary Revolution and an Analysis of The Red Badge of Courage

Steven Crane's Role in the Literary Revolution and an Analysis of The Red Badge of Courage

Length: 1195 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

If it takes a revolutionary to topple the general way of thinking, Stephen Crane is that revolutionary for American literature. The dominant literary movement before Crane’s time, Romanticism, originated in Germany and England as a response to classicism and soon dispersed worldwide. (McKay 766). Romanticism stressed the power of the human conscience and the intensity of emotion. It was essentially a spiritual movement, fiercely conflicting with the rigid rules and standards of classicism and the restraint of the Enlightenment. The belief that all humans embodied a unique greatness was widespread. Further along in history, however, came a man who sought to destroy this confident idea from his despondent circumstances. Disenchanted by the strict upbringing of his religious family and eager to attack the traditional Romantic Movement, Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage utilizes universal literary philosophies to dismantle the traditional confidence in human morality.

Born into a pious, conservative family with a Methodist minister and the daughter of a clergyman as parents, it is no wonder that Crane would turn away from the religious orthodoxy of his household and the conventional norms of his time (Szumski 13). Understanding his childhood and upbringing is vital to grasp why Crane would create a work of literature so contradictory with others of its time. Crane’s mother was an active participant of the temperance movement and president of two chapters of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (Szumski 13). She also contributed reports on religious events in the community (Szumski 13). Crane’s father held an important position in the Methodist Church; he later lost it as a result of rebelling and denouncing Methodism’s emb...


... middle of paper ...


...s attempt to justify himself using the so-called “enlightened” individualist principles turns into an instance of narcissistic self-pity (Crane 49). This attempt contrasts with how there is “natural goodness in man,” as Fleming’s ego is inflated (Campbell, American Romanticism).
The onset of the twentieth century was without a doubt a period of change. New ideas spread across the world, shaking long-established beliefs that comfortably rested in traditionalists’ minds. Stephen Crane was a radical pioneer in the field of intellectualism and literature; he sought to inform the world of his thoughts on the Romantic Movement from his own life experiences. This literary revolution does not end with Crane’s death, however. Crane’s revolt against accepted beliefs represents the strong-willed courage that he encourages his readers to use to define their own place in life.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Stephen Crane's The Open Boat

- “The Open Boat” was written by Stephen Crane in 1897. This is an extremely powerful short story fictionalized by one of Crane’s own experiences out at sea. He is able to use what has happened to him, and spice it up to turn his story into a fictional account everyone can relate to. The reasons this story is so powerful is because of the literary devices Crane uses throughout the story, especially symbolism. In “The Open Boat,” Crane uses the four main characters, the dinghy, the waves, and the sea-weed as symbols to produce a microcosm of society....   [tags: literary analysis, fiction novels]

Strong Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Stephen Crane's The Red Badge Of Courage

- In The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane shows the growth of a young man, Henry, who is influenced by several other characters. The year was 1862 and it was the period of the Civil War. The story starts at night on a cold morning when the army was resting in their tents, bunks, and around the campfires. As Jim Conklin, who later becomes known as the tall soldier, washes his shirt at the river, he hears a rumor about the regiment. He rushes to tell his comrades that the regiment will move the next day....   [tags: literary analysis]

Strong Essays
1704 words (4.9 pages)

The Open Boat by Stephen Crane Essays

- In the story "The Open Boat," by Stephen Crane, Crane uses many literary techniques to convey the stories overall theme. The story is centered on four men: a cook, a correspondent, Billie, an oiler who is the only character named in the story, and a captain. They are stranded in a lifeboat in stormy seas just off the coast of Florida, just after their ship has sunk. Although they can eventually see the shore, the waves are so big that it is too dangerous to try to take the boat in to land. Instead, the men are forced to take the boat further out to sea, where the waves are not quite as big and dangerous....   [tags: Short Story Analysis, Writing Techniques]

Strong Essays
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

- Some people are made tough; others are born with a certain resilience that makes them less susceptible to being brought down by their surroundings or their predispositions. Stephen Crane’s character Maggie in his work Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is one of those unique few who has a little something extra in her being, some fiber that is stronger. Others in Maggie’s situation would likely fold under the pressure and succumb to what some might see as an inevitable destiny. Maggie, however, withstands great amounts of pressure and survives it for much longer than a weaker personality would....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Stephen Crane]

Strong Essays
2653 words (7.6 pages)

Essay on The Opening Sentence of Crane’s The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

- Movies and books, about tales of the Old West, are still popular today. Western fiction is a genre of literature set in the American Old West frontier and typically set from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century. Stephen Crane's "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" depicts the influence of the East on the West. It is interesting to note that the general concept and the dominant theme of the story can be summarized in the very first sentence, which provides the general framework for the whole story....   [tags: literary analysis, influence of East on West]

Strong Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

The Open Boat Essay

- “When it came night, the white waves passed to and fro in the moonlight, and the wind brought the sound of the great sea’s voice to the men on the shore, and they felt they could then be interpreters” (Crane 370). “The Open Boat,” written by Stephen Crane, describes the journey of four men stranded in a dinghy in the middle of the ocean and the hardships that had to be faced in order to survive. This story is not only a riveting story, keeping readers on the edge of their seat, but the story also makes the reader realize how precious life truly is....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Stephen Crane]

Strong Essays
2637 words (7.5 pages)

Role of Poetry in Narrative Prose of the Heian period (monogatari, nikki)

- In the Heian period, Japanese literature and prose was beginning to take shape, starting with things like the Man’yōshū and Kokinshū leading the way to taking poetry to the level of art. Ki no Tsurayuki said that he wanted to make Japanese poetry or waka a higher cultural thing to be enjoyed by the whole country and he succeeded. Poetry became wildly popular with people reciting and creating on the spot, whenever something struck their fancy or they felt that a poem would do the situation well. To consider yourself cultured, it was almost necessary to dabble in poetry as well....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1140 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Maggie: Dead on the Streets

- Since its publication in 1896, Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets has generated speculation and debate over issues like censorship (Dowling 37) and class consciousness (Lawson), but what is possibly the most heated debate concerning Maggie is less about social or literary criticism and more about a plot point—the cause of death of Maggie Johnson; some critics claim that she is murdered, while others claim that she commits suicide (Dowling 36), and, while both arguments have strong cases, they seem to have neglected the most probable cause of the death of a Stephen Crane character—death by natural causes....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Strong Essays
2381 words (6.8 pages)

Analysis Of Stephen Crane 's ' The Open Boat ' Essay

- Analysis of “The Open Boat” In 1897 acclaimed writer Stephen Crane boarded a freighter commissioned to smuggle weapons and munitions to Cuba; he was to document the journey, but quickly after departure, the freighter sank. The literary classic "The Open Boat", which Crane penned after surviving this disaster, had nothing to do with the intended purpose of the voyage, but instead focused on the will of man versus nature and is the greatest short story of Naturalistic literature. Protagonists carry a great significance in Naturalism( )....   [tags: The Open Boat, Stephen Crane, Nature]

Strong Essays
805 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Stephen Crane and The Civil War

- Stephen Crane and The Civil War One year after the publication of The Red Badge of Courage Crane released a continuation to the narrative in the form of a short story.  “The Veteran” characterizes an elderly Henry Fleming who recalls his first exposure to the experience of war.  Of the battle he remembers, “That was at Chancellorsville” (Crane 529-531).  While Crane never explicitly states the name of the battle in The Red Badge, the incidents mentioned in “The Veteran” indicate that the protagonist of each is one in the same (website).  Memories of his reasons for flight and sad recollections of the memory of Jim Conklin, the “tall soldier,” mirror the episodes mentioned in Crane’s second...   [tags: Stephen Crane]

Strong Essays
908 words (2.6 pages)