The Red Badge of Courage by Steven Crane Essay

1448 Words 6 Pages
The Red Badge of Courage by Steven Crane

The Red Badge of Courage, by Steven Crane, has been proclaimed one of the greatest war novels of all time. It is a story that realistically depicts the American Civil War through the eyes of Henry Fleming, an ordinary farm boy who decides to become a soldier. Henry, who is fighting for the Union, is very determined to become a hero, and the story depicts Henrys voyage from being a young coward, to a brave man. This voyage is the classic trip from innocence to experience. The story starts out with a heated debate between the soldiers. One boy had heard a rumor that the regiment would be moving on to fight a battle the next day. Some of the soldiers agree with this boy,
…show more content…
When Henry sees the corpse, he begins to wonder if his generals actually know what they are doing. He thinks that the generals are leading him right into a trap, right into the middle of the rebels. Henry deals with his fear of battle by acting arrogant. He acts as if he has been in a thousand battles, and complains about the walking, even though the reader knows that he would rather be walking forever then go to battle at this point in time. It shows one of Henry's defense mechanisms, how he uses his arrogance to hide his innocence. Regiment 304 moves on to battle the next day. Henry becomes very scared, but is too proud to talk to any of the others soldiers about his fears. All the soldiers are very anxious to fight in the war, and Tom and Henry talk about how they are not going to run away from war, and how they want to become big time war heroes. This is ironic, because in the end of the book their wishes come true. When the battle starts, all the soldiers get very anxious and nervous. Tom and Henry don't turn out to be as brave as they think that they could be. While hiding, Tom finds Henry, and gives him a manila envelope of letters for his family. Tom believes that this will be his first and his last battle. Henry ends up fulfilling his worst nightmare. Instead of sticking out the battle with the rest of his

Related Documents