War Changes Henry in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage

War Changes Henry in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage

Length: 528 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
War Changes Henry in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage


There have been many great war stories; one is The Red Badge of Courage (1895) written by Stephen Crane. This book is circled around Henry Fleming, a young man who wants to join the Union Army during the Civil War. The Civil War has been a great subject for many books, as it was a great changing point in American History that lasted for 4 years.

The story is written about Henry Fleming, who wanted to join the Union Army for a long time, but his mother didn't want him to. The story lasts over a period of a few days, probably two. He grew up on a farm, in a rural area, where he was secluded from large areas, like many other soldiers who fought in the Civil War. He is usually a good farmer boy, who follows what his mother says. With no mention of his father in the story, he is most likely dead or he ran away. This makes Stephen Crane's writing look like many families today, where there is only one parent to care for them.

He eventually signs up with the Union Army, without his mother's full support. On his way there, he is greeted by many others who say how he is so great for joining the army. He gets to the Army camp eventually, and everyone there is waiting in anxiety for a battle. Here he meets other soldiers, such as the "Loud soldier," and the "Tall Soldier." They talk about battles, and soldiers who run from war, comparing them to children and anything but men. This makes him think if he, if the battle gets too violent, will run. Eventually the first battle comes, and the first rush with it. He defends his position, and doesn't run away. But the second wave of attacks came, and he ran away as fast as he could. He meets up with a group of injured soldiers, when he remembers that he ran from battle. This made him ashamed of himself, even more when he has to lie about being injured. This shows how the writer likes to use emotions on the character effect the reader, some people might be mad he ran away, others might be disappointed in him for it.

Overtime, Henry has many bad experiences since he ran from the battle. He was injured when a bullet grazes the backside of his head, and he also suffers from extreme dehydration, but is saved by a military camp he came to.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"War Changes Henry in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=19617>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane Essay examples

- 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]

Research Papers
880 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage

- Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage War forces young soldiers to grow up quickly. In Stephen Crane’s Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage, Henry Fleming is no exception. He is faced with the hard reality of war and this forces him to readjust his romantic beliefs about war. Through the novel, the reader can trace the growth and development of Henry through these four stages: (1) romanticizing war and the heroic role each soldier plays, (2) facing the realities of war, (3) lying to himself to maintain his self-importance, and (4) realistic awareness of his abilities and place in life....   [tags: Stephen Crane Red Badge Courage Essays]

Research Papers
1606 words (4.6 pages)

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane Essay

- 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....   [tags: battle, henry, soldiers]

Research Papers
1445 words (4.1 pages)

The Red Badge of Courage - Henry is No Hero Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
899 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage as Bildungsroman

- Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage as Bildungsroman           In the Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, the main character Henry Fleming joins the army as a young fledging and ultimately matures to a courageous soldier ready for battle. The Red Badge of Courage is considered a Bildungsroman since the reader traces Henry’s development morally, psychologically, and intellectually. Henry progresses from a feared youth who in the course of a couple of days, in the line of fire, has crossed the threshold to manhood....   [tags: The Red Badge of Courage]

Research Papers
1241 words (3.5 pages)

The Transformation of Henry Fleming in The Red Badge of Courage Essay

- The Transformation of Henry Fleming in The Red Badge of Courage         Stephen Crane's purpose in writing The Red Badge of Courage was to dictate the pressures faced by the prototypical American soldier in the Civil War.  His intent was accomplished by making known the horrors and atrocities seen by Unionist Henry Fleming during the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the conflicts within himself.   Among the death and repulsion of war, there exists a single refuge for the warrior--his brethren.  The success of combat is directly related to the morale of the soldiers, as it is the relationship with the neighboring soldier that demonstrates the motive for fighting.  This association...   [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]

Research Papers
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Use of Color in Crane's The Red Badge of Courage

- 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]

Research Papers
1652 words (4.7 pages)

Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1234 words (3.5 pages)

The Changing Role of the Hero in The Red Badge of Courage Essay

- The Changing Role of the Hero in The Red Badge of Courage        With Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage, the concept of the heroic figure begins to shift farther away from clearly defined characteristics. The idea of a single individual rising up to heroically conquer in any situation lost favor with the changing views of the nineteenth century leading Crane to address as a theme "the quandary of heroism in an unheroic age" (Beaver 67) by creating in Henry Fleming a figure both heroic and non-heroic all in one....   [tags: The Red Badge of Courage]

Research Papers
838 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Fantasies and Realities in Red Badge Of Courage

- Fantasies and Realities in The Red Badge Of Courage           In The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane the main character, Henry Fleming, thought he understood the war between the North and the South.  However, his understanding came “from his knowledge of fairy tales and mythology”(Gibson 21).  Henry thought that he was like the heroes that he read about in these stories.  He soon learned that real war was very different from his imaginative expectations.  Crane took Henry’s fantasies and contrasted them with the realities of the war to develop this main character into a mature person....   [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]

Research Papers
2479 words (7.1 pages)

Related Searches

With time and injury, he becomes effected by the war. Little things no longer dramatize him. This story shows that young men are mentally transformed into boys when they experience the dramatic effects of war. The writer seems to show that any boy who can see his comrades being shot without running away, is more of a man than anyone.

In the end, Stephen Crane makes this book demonstrate how war will change a young man, and he almost predicted how families would be in the future.


Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. New York: Dodd,
Mead & Company
Return to 123HelpMe.com