A summary and analysis of the character in the red badge of courage by stephen crane

The blue Union regiment defeats the gray Confederate soldiers, and the victors congratulate one another.

the red badge of courage setting

The novel has been adapted several times for the screen. At last the regiment is given orders to march, and the soldiers spend several weary days traveling on foot.

The red badge of courage characters

He finds a procession of wounded soldiers. Soon, the regiment faces an actual conflict. Then he remembers his flight and his treatment of the tattered man, and guilt rises up in him again. A sarcastic soldier cuts him down and later the young lieutenant tells him to stop talking and start fighting. He threw a pine cone at a jovial squirrel, and he ran with chattering fear. The next morning Henry goes into battle for the third time. If he changed something, he would rewrite the whole page. The group is sent into more fighting, and Henry continues to carry the flag. He was a craven loon. The enemy quickly regroups and attacks again, this time forcing some of the unprepared Union soldiers to flee. Both believe in themselves enough to say that they will fight as hard as they can, but neither goes as far to say that they definitely will not run. When they return, they are greeted with jeers from the veterans and reprimands from the higher officers.

Henry feels differently this time; he believes that the monster of war, a red and green dragon, will come through the gray smoke and swallow him. Soon, the enemy retreats and the men relax.

However, he eventually lets this go, and now sees his previous thoughts on war and battle as silly.

red badge of courage quotes

As Henry continues walking with the wounded, he sees a veteran soldier of his company, Jim Conklin, who is mortally wounded. In despair, he declared that he was not like those others.

the red badge of courage analysis

Henry, boxed in by his fellow soldiers, realizes that he could not run even if he wanted to. After one of the men, a tall soldier, suggests that a battle is imminent, other soldiers argue against the notion.

Red badge of courage themes

Finding solace in existential thoughts, he internally fights to make sense of the senseless world in which he finds himself. Nevertheless, the realistic portrayal of the battlefield in The Red Badge of Courage has often misled readers into thinking that Crane despite being born six years after the end of the Civil War was himself a veteran. They return to their fellow soldiers with this news, but do not tell them that the general doubted that they would survive. Henry runs away, encounters another group of men, gets whacked on the head with a rifle butt by a rather freaked out member of his own army, and amazingly ends up back with his own th regiment. Again, Henry can't explain that he has no wound, so he leaves the disoriented, wounded, tattered soldier stumbling in the field. He hears the noise of a battle and sees reinforcement troops heading toward the front. He enlists in the Union army and quickly discovers sides of himself he never knew existed. He would later relate that the first paragraphs came to him with "every word in place, every comma, every period fixed. A regiment in front, already engaging the enemy, is beaten and flees the battleground.
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The Red Badge of Courage Summary