A Book Review of the Red Badge of Courage

In: Novels

Submitted By reachellis1997
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Crane, Stephen The Red Badge of Courage. London: Puffin, 2009. 205 pages. In The Red Badge of Courage, a young solider, Henry Fleming, reflects on what will become of him when he gets to battle—will he run or will he stand and fight bravely? He enlisted because he wanted to be a hero, like the warriors of the Greek epics. His mother, however, was not interested in such notions of bravery, and she discouraged Henry from enlisting. She denied him a goodbye when she learned of his enlistment, and she told him to go with his feelings should he find himself in a situation. Days later, Henry’s regiment marched with other Union army regiments. During this time, Henry’s thoughts are mixed and distracted. After he passed a corpse for the first time, he believed his regiment was being lead to their death, but they soon faced an actual conflict. After a raging battle, Henry felt satisfied that he had overcome the trials of war. However, the Rebels attacked again. During the second battle, Henry dropped his weapon and ran. He ran into an open field after he passed through a forest, and he came upon a group of wounded soldiers. Henry saw that one of his friends, Jim Conklin, was one of the wounded men; Henry tried to help him, but Jim ran away and soon died. Henry continued wondering and encountered mass chaos. He was hit on the head with a rifle, and a nice man helped him return to his regiment. Upon his return, Henry believed he would have harsh words awaiting him because of his flee, but no harsh words awaited Henry. His friends and fellow soldiers bandaged his wounds, and they did not question him. During the next battle, Henry fought as if he were crazed, and the other men looked at him with curiosity. Later that day, Wilson and Henry overheard a general and his staff’s discussion that their regiment of “mule drivers” were going to charge at their enemies. Wilson and…...

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