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The main point in The Red Badge of Courage is Henry Flemings
fear about how he will do in his first skrimish in the Civil War. Henry was a young man who lived on a farm with his mother. He dreamed about what fighting in a war would be like, and dreamed of being a
hero. He dreamed of the battles of war, and of what it would be like to fight in
those glorious battles. His mother was wise and caring. She did not want him to
go to war. She gave him hundreds of reasons on why he was needed on the
farm and not in the war. He didn't want to stay in the farm and do nothing, so he
enlisted in the miliatary.
After joining he found himself, with nothing to do. He became friends
with two other soldiers, John Wilson and Jim Conklin. John was an
obnoxious soldier, but he becomes one of Henry's best friends. Jim was tall, he was
a childhood friend of Henry's. They all were exiceted about going to war.
They started marching. After a few days Henry realized that they were
going around in circles. They just continued marching without a reason.
During this time Henry starts to think differently about war. He
becomes scared about running away from a battle. Lieutenant Hasbrouck, a
young lieutenant of Henry's regiment was an extremely
brave man. He, unlike the other officers, cared about and defended his troops
performance, and made sure that they got the recognition they deserved. He
was a true leader and Henry and John wanted to be just like him.
After a while, they finally discover a battle taking place. Jim gives Henry
a yellow envelope with a packet inside. He is sure that he will die, and says
that this will be his first and last battle. The troops manage to hold off the
rebels during the first attack, but the rebels came back again and
again with more reinforcements driving the soldiers back. Henry becomes scared,
confuse, and goes into a trance when he sees his forces backing down. He
finally gets up and starts to run like a "chicken", who has lost the direction of
safety. After he has run away he starts to think about his
At first he thinks of himself as a coward for running, and later he feels
that he was just saving himself for later. He thinks nature does not want him to
die, eventhough his side was losing. He believed he was intelligent to run, and
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Henry, still running, is met by a soldier and he comes upon Jim who has
been wounded badly. He does not complain about his pain, but asks Henry to
move him out of the road, so that he is not run over by artillery wagons. Even in
his pain, he is concered about Henry and asks how he is feeling. As his death
grew nearer, Jim runs into a field looking for a suitable place to die. He ignores
Henry's offers of help, and as his body jerked horribly, he falls and dies. The
only other witness to his death was the wounded soldier, who is impresssed
by Jim's bravery and courage. The soldier appears to be a simple
and innocent man. Henry walks away hurting inside.
In the charge ahead, Henry asks fleeing soldiers why they are running.
He grabs a comrad and asked "why why" all the while holding his arm. The man
struggling to be let go, hits Henry over the head with the butt of his rifle, thus
giving Henry is first Red Badge of Courage. Henry stumbles across the battle
field trying to stay on his feet. He meets a cheery voiced man who helps him get
back to his camp. The man not only lacked a name, but Henry never saw his
face. He appears to be an ordinary man who can skillfully maneuveur through the
forest and patrols. At his camp he meets up with John again, and gets the
wound on his head treated. After resting for a little while he gets back into the
battle. He felt the generals, were a bunch of "morons" for making them retreat
rather than confronting the enemy.
Henry starts to think that he and John are going to die, but they go into battle
anyway. In the battle, a change goes over Henry. He starts to fume with rage.
He seemed to have a wild hate for his relentless enemies. He felt that he and his
companions were being taunted and being made fun of. In a following battle, he
and John got the oppurtunity to carry the regiment's flag. After a bit of
scuffling John takes the flag out, but later in the battle Henry manages to get
the rebel flag and runs up the line with Lieutenant Hasbrouck leading the way.
In the battle, he fought like a "leader", and he has grown up a great deal.
He was not afraid of dying anymore.