The Red Badge of Courage: A Coming of Age Novel Essay

The Red Badge of Courage: A Coming of Age Novel Essay

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A solider is a solider in anytime. Whether he is a solider fighting off the British in the American Revolution, or a solider fighting against his own in a civil war. Many of the experiences and feelings are the same. Have you ever wondered what it is like being a solider? Have you ever wondered about a soldiers feelings as he faces battle for the first time? Stephen Crane shows us in The Red Badge of Courage, a character, Henry Fleming, an average young recruit in the Civil War. Fleming comes to realize that when it comes to war what he expects is different from what he must come to except. Stephen Crane was born shortly after the Civil War which may have influenced his writing of The Red Badge of Courage, which some critics view as a coming of age novel.
Stephen Crane was born shortly after the Civil War on November 1st 1871, in Nework New Jersey (Miller 285). The Crane family had fourteen children, Stephen Crane being the last (285). According to “ a short biography of Stephen Crane’s early years,” by the time Crane had reached the age of three he had already taught himself to read and right. At the age of four Crane had read James Fenimore Cooper’s novels. These novels had been past down by his brother, who had to sneak the novels into the strict Methodist household. According to Ray Miller, the Crane family moved to Port Jervis, New York in 1878, but two years later marked the death or Crane’s father. Crane’s mother then moved the family to Asbury Park, New Jersey where Stephen Crane began to excel in public schools (285). Crane’s first short story was not published until after his death, which was called “ Uncle Jake and the Bell Handler” written in 1885 (285). At this time Crane enrolled into Pennington Se...


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...ience what it is like to be a hero (shaw 418). As The Red Badge of Courage comes to it’s conclusion the cowardly “youth” to a courageous hero. Fleming focused on his hate and desire to smash the glittering smile of victory that was seen on his enemy’s face (Blair).
Author Stephen Crane attended many schools through out his life, but writing came to be his profession. The Red Badge of Courage, Crane’s most successful novel, was considered one of the first forms of realistic war fiction written on the Civil War. Some critics say that the unknown battle in Chancellorsville influenced Crane to write this novel. Through out the novel Crane’s shows how Henry Fleming transformed from a cowardly teenage recruit to a hero of war. This novel proved that any soldier, whether he is a sergeant or private, can pull through at the right moment, and be seen as a hero.

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