The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

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The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by Rachid Amri on Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:12 pm

Context
Stephen Crane was born in 1871 in Newark, New Jersey. The fourteenth child of highly religious Methodist parents, Crane lapsed into a rebellious childhood during which he spent time preparing for a career as a professional baseball player. After brief flirtations with higher learning at Lafayette College and Syracuse University, Crane turned to writing full-time. Convinced that he must invest his work with the authenticity of experience, he often went to outlandish lengths to live through situations that he intended to work into his novels. For his first book, Maggie, a Girl of the Streets (1893), Crane lived in poverty in the Bowery slum of New York City. Similarly, he based his short story “The Open Boat” on his experience as a castaway from a shipwreck.
Crane’s most enduring work, the short novel The Red Badge of Courage was published in 1895. Though initially not well received in the United States, The Red Badge of Courage was a massive success in England. The attention of the English critics caused many Americans to view the novel with renewed enthusiasm, catapulting the young Crane into international literary prominence. His realistic depictions of war and battle led to many assignments as a foreign correspondent for newspapers, taking him to such locales as Greece, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. He published volumes of poetry as well as many works of fiction, including the landmark “The Open Boat” (1897). In 1899, Crane moved into a medieval castle in England with his lover, the former madam of a Jacksonville brothel. Here Crane wrote feverishly, hoping to pay off his debts. His health began to fail, however, and he died of tuberculosis in June 1900, at the age of twenty-eight.
Ironically, for a writer so committed to the direct portrayal of his own experience, Crane’s greatest work is almost entirely a product of his imagination. When he wrote The Red Badge of Courage, Crane had neither fought in war nor witnessed battle, and was forced to rely on his powers of invention to create the extraordinarily realistic combat sequences of the novel. His work proved so accurate that, at the time of the book’s publication, most critics assumed that Crane was an experienced soldier.
Based loosely on the events of the Civil War Battle of Chancellorsville (May 2–6, 1863)—though neither the battle, the war, nor the armies are named in the book—The Red Badge of Courage shattered American preconceptions about what a war novel could be. In the decades before Crane’s novel, most fiction about the Civil War was heavily idealistic, portraying the conflict as a great clash of opposed ideals. Whereas previous writers had taken a large, epic view, Crane focused on the individual psychology of a single soldier, Private Henry Fleming, during his first experiences of battle. In this narrowed scope, Crane represents Henry’s mind as a maze of illusions, vanity, and romantic naïveté, challenged by the hard lessons of war. Crane does not depict a world of moral absolutes, but rather a universe utterly indifferent to human existence.
This startling and unexpected shift drew the world’s attention to The Red Badge of Courage, as did the novel’s vivid and powerful descriptions of battle. With its combination of detailed imagery, moral ambiguity, and terse psychological focus, The Red Badge of Courage exerted an enormous influence on twentieth-century American fiction, particularly the work of the modernists. These qualities continue to make the work absorbing and important more than a century after it was written.
Plot Overview
During the Civil War, a Union regiment rests along a riverbank, where it has been camped for weeks. A tall soldier named Jim Conklin spreads a rumor that the army will soon march. Henry Fleming, a recent recruit with this 304th Regiment, worries about his courage. He fears that if he were to see battle, he might run. The narrator reveals that Henry joined the army because he was drawn to the glory of military conflict. Since the time he joined, however, the army has merely been waiting for engagement.
At last the regiment is given orders to march, and the soldiers spend several weary days traveling on foot. Eventually they approach a battlefield and begin to hear the distant roar of conflict. After securing its position, the enemy charges. Henry, boxed in by his fellow soldiers, realizes that he could not run even if he wanted to. He fires mechanically, feeling like a cog in a machine.
The blue (Union) regiment defeats the gray (Confederate) soldiers, and the victors congratulate one another. Henry wakes from a brief nap to find that the enemy is again charging his regiment. Terror overtakes him this time and he leaps up and flees from the line. As he scampers across the landscape, he tells himself that he did the right thing, that his regiment could not have won, and that the men who remained to fight were fools. He passes a general on horseback and overhears the commander saying that the regiment has held back the enemy charge. Ashamed of his cowardice, Henry tries to convince himself that he was right to preserve his own life. He wanders through a forest glade in which he encounters the decaying corpse of a soldier. Shaken, he hurries away.
After a time, Henry joins a column of wounded soldiers winding down the road. He is deeply envious of these men, thinking that a wound is like “a red badge of courage”; visible proof of valorous behavior. He meets a tattered man who has been shot twice and who speaks proudly of the fact that his regiment did not flee. He repeatedly asks Henry where he is wounded, which makes Henry deeply uncomfortable and compels him to hurry away to a different part of the column. He meets a spectral soldier with a distant, numb look on his face. Henry eventually recognizes the man as a badly wounded Jim Conklin. Henry promises to take care of Jim, but Jim runs from the line into a small grove of bushes where Henry and the tattered man watch him die.
Henry and the tattered soldier wander through the woods. Henry hears the rumble of combat in the distance. The tattered soldier continues to ask Henry about his wound, even as his own health visibly worsens. At last, Henry is unable to bear the tattered man’s questioning and abandons him to die in the forest.
Henry continues to wander until he finds himself close enough to the battlefield to be able to watch some of the fighting. He sees a blue regiment in retreat and attempts to stop the soldiers to find out what has happened. One of the fleeing men hits him on the head with a rifle, opening a bloody gash on Henry’s head. Eventually, another soldier leads Henry to his regiment’s camp, where Henry is reunited with his companions. His friend Wilson, believing that Henry has been shot, cares for him tenderly.
The next day, the regiment proceeds back to the battlefield. Henry fights like a lion. Thinking of Jim Conklin, he vents his rage against the enemy soldiers. His lieutenant says that with ten thousand Henrys, he could win the war in a week. Nevertheless, Henry and Wilson overhear an officer say that the soldiers of the 304th fight like “mule drivers.” Insulted, they long to prove the man wrong. In an ensuing charge, the regiment’s color bearer falls. Henry takes the flag and carries it proudly before the regiment. After the charge fails, the derisive officer tells the regiment’s colonel that his men fight like “mud diggers,” further infuriating Henry. Another soldier tells Henry and Wilson, to their gratification, that the colonel and lieutenant consider them the best fighters in the regiment.
The group is sent into more fighting, and Henry continues to carry the flag. The regiment charges a group of enemy soldiers fortified behind a fence, and, after a pitched battle, wins the fence. Wilson seizes the enemy flag and the regiment takes four prisoners. As he and the others march back to their position, Henry reflects on his experiences in the war. Though he revels in his recent success in battle, he feels deeply ashamed of his behavior the previous day, especially his abandonment of the tattered man. But after a moment, he puts his guilt behind him and realizes that he has come through “the red sickness” of battle. He is now able to look forward to peace, feeling a quiet, steady manhood within himself.

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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by rahma beji on Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:58 pm

The Red Badge of Courage
By Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

A Study Guide
Plot Summary

.......In the spring of 1863 during the American Civil War, Union recruits encamped in Virginia undergo rigorous training in preparation for battle. Among the recruits is Henry Fleming, a New York farm boy who enlisted to reap his share of glory. Before signing up, he had fantasized about placing himself in the front lines of great battles. Oh, the wonder of it all! To defy bullets and to fight in the smoke of artillery fire–was there anything more exciting? True, the character of the war between the states might not quite measure up to the heroic and romantic character of the wars of ancient Greece, which Henry had read about and reveled over. Nevertheless, what the youth knew about the conflict between the Blue and the Gray had thrilled him, and he resolved to be a part of it.
.......His mother had opposed his enlistment. But when it was time for him to leave, she bade him farewell with this advice: “If so be a time comes when yeh have to be kilt or do a mean thing, why, Henry, don't think of anything 'cept what's right, because there's many a woman has to bear up 'ginst sech things these times, and the Lord 'll take keer of us all.”
.......What is right, of course, is to stand and fight, come what may. But once in the Union camp, he worries that in the face of enemy fire he might run and, in so doing, disgrace himself. This thought gnaws at him all through his months of training, during which the tedium of drilling and listless waiting dulls his appetite for war. After rumors spread that his regiment will soon engage the Confederates, he asks two men he befriends, a tall man named Jim Conklin and a loud man named Wilson, how they think the regiment will do. Conklin, while admitting that the troops are fresh and raw, says they will probably do just fine–“better than some, worse than others.” Asked by Henry whether he would ever consider running, Conklin says he probably would if everyone else ran. But then again, if everyone stood his ground, he would too. However, Wilson says he would not run under any circumstances. “The man that bets on my running will lose his money, that’s all,” he declares.
.......After the soldiers finally break camp, they march off toward the war zone at Chancellorsville, Virginia. It is a long, grueling march. One morning, after crossing a river the previous evening, Henry awakens abruptly when the tall soldier kicks him in the leg. Something is going on, and in moments Henry–along with the whole regiment–is running down a road. If he is headed into battle, he could not retreat even if he wanted to, for he is hemmed in by his fellow soldiers. If he stops, he will be trampled. The men slide down a bank, cross a stream, and climb a hill. On the other side, artillery booms, and Henry sees soldiers skirmishing. Farther along, the regiment–moving more slowly now–files by a dead soldier. The narrator describes the scene this way:
.......He lay upon his back staring at the sky. He was dressed in an awkward suit of yellowish brown. The youth could see that the soles of his shoes had been warn to the thinness of writing paper, and from a great rent in one the dead foot projected piteously. And it was as if fate had betrayed the soldier. In death it exposed to his enemies that poverty which in life he had perhaps concealed from his friends.
.......These experiences–the headlong run, the sight of the distant fighting, and the dead soldier–unnerve Henry. When the youth mopes along, glancing at the sky, a young lieutenant raps him with his sword, ordering him to speed up: “No skulking ‘ll do here,” he says.
.......The men shift about, digging in at one location only to be told to move on to another, then another. When they finally meet the enemy, a brigade ahead of them takes heavy fire, and Henry looks on in wonderment, his eyes wide open and roving, his mouth partly open. The loud man, Wilson, lays a hand on his shoulder and says, “It’s my first battle, old boy. . . . Something tells me–“
.......Henry is surprised as Wilson tells him that “I’m a gone coon this first time. . . .” He hands Henry a yellow envelope containing a packet of letters.
.......Artillery fire rings down, bullets whistle by, and the Union forces in front of Henry are put to rout. But Henry and his regiment hold fast–save for one soldier who runs away screaming. The lieutenant of the company seizes him by the collar and forces him back to the front lines. Here and there, men drop. The dead lie in contorted positions, as if dropped randomly from the sky. A man whose knee had been split by a bullet clings to a tree. Other wounded are hustled to the rear. The company’s captain is killed. But Henry survives. When the Confederates draw back to the cover of woods, he looks at the blue sky and the sun, surprised that “Nature had gone tranquilly on with her golden process in the midst of such devilment.”
.......“Gee, ain’t it hot, hey?” he says cheerfully to another soldier, relieved that the encounter is over. “You bet!” the soldier says. The latter expresses the hope that “we don’t have no more fightin’ till a week from Monday.”
.......But just then masses of Confederates charge back out of the woods. Shells explode around Henry like “strange war flowers bursting into fierce bloom.” The sight frightens the men. Someone says, “We ain’t never goin’ to stand this second banging. I didn’t come here to fight the hull damn’ rebel army.”
.......Rifles crack from one end of the Union line to the other. Henry trembles. His knees go weak. In the face of the onslaught, he thinks the enemy is invincible–a great, rolling, unstoppable machine. One man near Henry runs. So does another. Then another and another. Henry runs, too, leaving behind his rifle. So fast does he run that his coat inflates with wind.
.......After a time, he sees a squirrel that runs from him, just as he had run from the rebels, and reasons that it is natural to run. By and by, he hears people talking off yonder, one of them saying that the Union forces prevailed. Henry is downhearted, full of regret. Why did he have to run?
.......Later, he encounters wounded soldiers–none of whom he recognizes–wending their way slowly down a road. Henry tags along with them. He envies these soldiers, for their wounds are outward signs of their battlefield courage. A "tattered man" asks Henry to point out his wound. Embarrassed, Henry walks off to another part of the bloody parade and comes across a wretch of a soldier half-dead with his wounds. It is Jim Conklin, the tall soldier from Henry’s regiment. Henry tries to help him. Meanwhile, the tattered soldier comes by, and he too offers to assist. But Conklin wanders off and later, in the presence of Henry and the tattered soldier, dies. When the tattered soldier again asks Henry where he was wounded, Henry abandons him.
.......During his wandering, he comes upon horses, wagons, and a column of soldiers heading into a grove. If they are retreating, he thinks, all could go well for him. After all, no one could fault him for doing what so many Union forces are doing. Suddenly, however, the soldiers begin to run toward him, away from the grove. When Henry tries to stop one of them to ask what is happening, the soldier’s rifle accidentally strikes Henry in the head, opening a gash. Dazed, he continues to wander until a sympathetic soldier leads him back to his regiment. No one reproaches him. In fact, the loud soldier, Wilson, and another comrade dress his “wound,” which Henry leads them to believe he suffered in combat.
.......The packet of letters–he still has Wilson’s packet of letters. If Wilson starts questioning him about his absence from the regiment, Henry can use the letters to threaten to reveal Wilson as a weakling who lost his head before the first battle. However, neither Wilson nor anyone else says a word about Henry’s disappearance. What is more, Wilson–once a loud braggart–is now a quiet man who treats Henry with kindness. If anyone is talkative, it is Henry. Emboldened by his bandaged wound–his “red badge of courage”–he no longer worries about being accused of deserting the field. When Wilson asks Henry for the packet, the youth readily returns it.
.......In the following days, Henry and Wilson fight with valor during a rebel attack. After the regiment’s color bearer suffers a wound, Henry takes the flag from him and helps lead a forward charge. The other men also fight bravely even though some officers predicted that the regiment would falter, saying it consisted of mere “mule drivers.” The narrator says:
.......“[The] emaciated regiment bustled forth with undiminished fierceness when its time came. When assaulted again by bullets, the men burst out in a barbaric cry of rage and pain. They bent their heads in aims of intent hatred behind the projected hammers of their guns. Their ramrods clanged loud with fury as their eager arms pounded the cartridges into the rifle barrels.”
.......However, the men unwittingly stop a hundred feet short of victory, a general says; they should have kept moving forward. But in the case of Henry and Wilson, this disconcerting news is tempered with heartening news: The regiment’s commanding officers observe that the two men are the company’s best fighters.
.......Later, when the fighting resumes, the regiment this time charges the rebels, chasing them beyond a fence and capturing their flag. Henry’s regiment has prevailed; the men have proven themselves worthy to wear Union blue.
.......Henry is now a veteran. But he is also a changed young man. Although he regrets earlier fleeing the battle in a moment of crisis, he puts that act behind him, as well as his previous conceptions of war as a glorious adventure. The narrator says, “He felt a quiet manhood, nonassertive but of sturdy and strong blood. He knew that he would no more quail before his guides wherever they should point. He had been to touch the great death, and found that, after all, it was but the great death. He was a man.”
.......The soldiers march off in heavy rain through thick mud, but Henry was happy. For “he had rid himself of the red sickness of battle. The sultry nightmare was in the past.”
.......(Editor’s note: Although the fictional Union regiment defeated its foes–perhaps as a real-life Union regiment might have dominated fighting on the Chancellorsville battlefield on a single day–the overall battle itself was won by the Confederates under General Robert E. Lee, enabling him and his forces to march north and into Pennsylvania, where they fought and lost to Union forces at Gettysburg on July 1-3, 1863.)
.

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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by rahma beji on Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:42 pm

Style
In some ways Crane's style is ornate, as has been noted above, with profuse use of color and rampant metaphor in a way which was rare for his time. The blues and grays of the two sides of the American Civil War are often described as natural phenomena, swirling like clouds. Fleming's Regiment "was a broken machine".

In dialog, however, the style is earthy, written out to sound as close to the vernacular of the day as possible. This realism was later to inform many works but was relatively rare at the time.

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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by rahma beji on Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:45 am

The Red Badge of Courage
By Stephen Crane
Four main characters (and one-sentence description of each)

Henry Fleming (the youth) - Henry, the main character of the novel, was at first very excited to go to war joining the army against his mother’s wishes, but he finds war frightening and he becomes a coward to later become a hero.
Jim Conklin (the tall soldier) - Jim was a close friend that Henry had met in the army where he gets shot and is nursed by Henry.
Wilson (the loud soldier) - Wilson was a friend of Henry in the army who was at first loud and obnoxious but proves helpful when Henry became wounded.
Henry’s mother - She shows up at the beginning of the book and tells Henry that she does not want him joining the army, but wishes him luck when he does anyway.
Two minor characters (and one-sentence description of each)
Tattered soldier - He pestered Henry at the camp before they set off to fight.
Cheery soldier - He helped Henry back to camp after Henry fled.
Three main settings (and one sentence description of each)
The forest - All of the fighting occurs in the forest where Henry learns about fear and valor.
The camp - This is the Union base where the army set up for the night.
One paragraph plot outline
The book starts out with a new regiment for the Union army waiting around for some fighting. Jim Conklin, a friend of the main character, Henry Fleming, hears some rumors about their next movements. He tells the other soldiers of the rumors telling them that they’re going to go around the enemy and attack them from behind. Sure enough, a few days later, they start marching and they attack. This is the first battle for the regiment so a few soldiers, including Henry Fleming, desert the regiment. After Henry deserts, he finds Jim and walks with him for a while before Jim dies. Henry wanders about a bit and gets in a fight with another lost soldier of the Union army who hits him across the head with the butt of his rifle causing Henry to bleed. By night, Henry, with the help of another soldier, finds his way back to his own regiment. Luckily, no one suspects Henry of deserting. Henry lies about the head wound being from the battle. During the night, Henry is cared for by a friend named Wilson. By morning, Henry is well rested and fights with his regiment several battles that day. Henry always stayed in the front and encouraged the other soldiers to fight harder showing much courage. He was complimented by the Colonel, but despite his victory, he still feels guilty about deserting his regiment the day before.
Two symbols and references
The red badge - The red badge, a blood stain, was a symbol of courage for other soldiers, however, for Henry, it becomes a sign of cowardice since he received his from a fight with another union soldier after deserting.
The flag - The flag carried during battle is a sign of an army’s place in the battle. It also displayed the courage of the person who had to carry it since the flag bearer must always stand at the front lines.
Two or three sentences on style
Crane’s style is short and simple. His sentences are not long or flowery. Although he does not use very many figurative devices, his writing is easy to understand making reading quick and easy.
One or two sentences on dominant philosophy
The dominant philosophy in this book was that Henry and his fellow soldiers were not in complete control of their actions during the heat of battle. They fought despite the risk of death not because of their love for their country but for adrenaline, while the soldiers who deserted did so not because of apathy for their country, but for the fear of the moment.
Four short quotations typical of the work. (Include speaker, occasion)
“He felt a quiet manhood, nonassertive, of sturdy and strong blood.” Henry becomes a man after fighting courageously in battle.
“The landscape gave him assurance... it was the religion of peace.” This is an example of imagery as Crane describes the area around the battlefield.
“There was a silence safe for the chanting chorus of the trees.” This is another example of imagery. Crane describes the atmosphere between shots on the battlefield.
“He, too, threw down his gun and fled. There was no shame in his face. He ran like a rabbit.” Crane describes the way Henry fled from battle. It was not thought out or decided upon, but a reflexive action.

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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by Iibtihel on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:12 pm

Red Badge of Courage
In the Red Badge of Courage, the main character of this work is Henry Fleming. The character is attractive because he shows a powerful capacity of ambition, which often allows him to view thing in the world with a false reality. A common sign of most inexperience children, which provide an interesting characteristic for the type of setting this novel, is placed in. In addition, the fact that in midst of this terrible setting he never backed down under the pressure surrounding him and confronts his fear. The character is unattractive for the reason why he is ambitious. The fact that a boy would want to engage in warfare sometimes scares the reader into examining what is the mental development of this character for he won’t aim for something a little more prestigious instead of risking his life for the glory of war. The character is believable for observes the world without reasonable logic which is about a primary trait of human because no...
In the Red Badge of Courage, the resolution implied is the bloodshed has ended with no other success, but that Henry has made the transition from a boy to a man and now he can look at his heroic deeds, put his sins in perspective, and not feel too proud about one or too guilty about the other. In conclusion, the main challenge of Henry is adjust to the hardships of army life and confront his fear head on. ” The significance of these passages shows the transition of Henry which took place during the action of the novel. Crane emphasizes the boyish questions and awkward conversationd even during tense, death-filled moments. Through Henry’s perceptions, the reader lives not only the infantry’s actions, but its individual thoughts and feelings. The examples are “ The red sun was pasted in the sky like a wafer,” “Strings of expletives he swung lash-like over the backs of his men,” “… his tongue lay dead in the tomb of his mouth,” and “The bugles called to each other like brazen gamecocks. He adapted naturalism, impressionism, symbolism, and realism and uses poetic techniques. one in their good state of mind would have a perception of war as a glamorous thing. Crane undercuts stereotypical wartime glory by detailing boredom, hardship, panic , and unheroic scenes of the soldiers terrified of dying amid the chaos and confusion of advance and retreat, kill or be killed. In accordingly, the character stands by his misconception and confronts his own death. ”
I would recommend this book to another person because of several factors that set this novel apart from other tales of war. The fact that Henry has strong ambitions to battle never truly reveal how he would perform under the pressures of a real line of fire. You can see from the inflection of the quote how emotion about the army changed from eagerness to doubt of why he was risking his life.
The style of writing is naturalistic, Crane present nature as all-important; in contrast to nature, man is just another animal and of little significance. It’s was never clearly stated what daunted to Henry undergo this change, but I drew the conclusion that it was the reality of real-time war the propelled this change in his characte
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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by Iibtihel on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:13 pm

In The Red Badge of Courage, a young man named Henry Fleming develops many attributes I compare and contrast to. Crane "paints" a vivid picture of what life was like for the fragile Henry Fleming. He demonstrates a sense of separation in Fleming’s life that I can relate to. Crain portrays an image of insecurity in Henry, which I sharply collate with.
As the narrative, The Red Badge of Courage, opens, Henry and his mother are engaged in a quarrel about Henry leaving to join the Army. By going against his mother's wishes and disobeying her, he isolates himself from his family. Since my mother has shown favor to my older sister, I too, have separated myself from her. This isolation is imperative to the way Henry lives his life during his time in the Army, and to the way I live my daily life at home with my mother. Moral support is something that a family, especially a mother, provides for a child, but because Henry and I have disassoc...
The handshake shared between the "cheerful soldier" and Henry, swings him back into the warm community of men. He wonders if he will turn and run when death is looking him in the eyes, or if he will decide to stay and do what he came to do; prove that he is a man and can handle even death itself.
The internal fears that haunt Henry are mostly created by him. Stephen Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage summarizes this gradual and significant process with this vivid sentence: "Over the river a golden ray of sun came through the hosts of leaden rain clouds. " Henry didn't earn this sense of pride and respectability because of his abandonment from the battle. This is a support system that Henry has, and then loses throughout this time period in his life. iated our selves from our mothers, we neglect to receive this. He is apprehensive of the reaction he will have towards any stimulus thrown out at him, therefore creating a fear that separates and isolates him from not only the rest of his regiment and his family, but himself as well. He becomes unified with his fellow comrades and his regiment, puts thedispute with his mother aside, and faces his fears and doubts.
During war, a soldier's most important support system is his/her regiment. During battle, several soldiers are wounded earning their "red badge of courage" and Henry becomes envious of those men.
. The tension is eased after Henry mistakenly "earns" his "red badge" from a friend. This moral support is needed during the hard times of life, but when Henry looks for this support, he realizes that he's pushed it away, far out of his life, and that it is almost imperceptible.
Regardless of the isolation, Henry matures over the course of the narrative, (which I am facing now).
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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by Iibtihel on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:14 pm

Red Badge of Courage
Henry Fleming enlists as a youth with heroic fantasies of battle lingering in his mind and walks off the “place of blood and wrath” three days later a serene veteran of battle. He came from hot plowshares seeking a Homeric Iliad, timid and anxious about his potential and what others think of him. He ponders a great dilemma: will he run from battle? He is reassured after asking the tall soldier his question. His friend tells him that he would do what the rest of the regiment was doing. Henry is not an individual yet, he is a fragment of a mass of men. Henry feels as though running from the backlash of the first skirmish he fought was a great debacle, and he is further tormented when the tattered soldier asks him how he got his feigned wound. He is haunted by pangs of guilt. As he participates in more battles, the opposition grows more and more human, as opposed to the monsters he envisioned them to be earlier. He sees them as human when he experiences his first surge of fierce, animalian anger. Henry’s epiphany occurs in the following “battle”. He discards the expectations of his peers and declares his individuality and courage by seizing the flag from the dead color sergeant and waving it before the regiment. He risks death as the. . .
Henry found his in the dignity he wished to uphold for himself and his regiment, and Holden in a pitiful realization that he is powerless to change the world. In The Red Badge of Courage, a narrator tells Henry’s tale. During battle several soldiers are wounded earning their "red badge of courage" and Henry's confident, Jim Conklin, dies. The path from youth to maturity can be prodigious in its complexity and length, but Salinger and Crane have each provided an account of this nature that occurred over only three days. Both characters seem to have promising futures ahead of them. The seizing of the flag is Henry’s ultimate rite of passage. He wonders if he will turn and run when death is looking him in the eyes, or if he will decide to stay and do what he came to do; prove that he is a man and can handle even death itself. Henry Fleming seemed to become the virtuoso of separation, individualism, and isolation. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden himself describes the events. He discards the terrified and cautious youth he enlisted as and becomes a mature, courageous adult.
The rise to adulthood is a common theme explored by authors. He felt that his assumption was clearly rectified- he was a coward. " This handshake is the turning point for the value Henry places on himself. Here is where Henry's second isolation, the isolation from his regiment, occurs. As Tolstoy said, “everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by Iibtihel on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:15 pm

Red Badge of Courage
In The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen crane, color is used in a wide variety of instances. The author utilizes color through imagery and symbolism in order to represent concepts and to impact the reader on a more personal basis. Gray is used in this way to describe death, in doing so the color is portrayed on both a symbolic and literal field. Gray is used literally to describe the dead soldiers on the battle field while it is used symbolically as the specter of death; this idea is introduced when Henry has visions of the dead while over looking the soldiers who lay sleeping, also more subtlety as the color of the uniforms of those who stand against him, who are the cause of the conflict. A more dominate color symbol is the color red, which is used to symbolize bravery, blood, wounds, and battle. Through out the book red is used consistently in these ways and becomes a strong repeating motif. In this way Crane uses colors to describe the physical and mental episodes in The Red Badge of Courage.
Color is brought into play early in the novel, as crane describes the battle field at sun rise: "As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors" (43). Color i. . .
Henry links being a true soldier to having suffered a battle wound, he views the true heroes of war to have "a wound, a red badge of courage" (110). They are instead referred to as dragons, with horrible red eyes as is mentioned just after the first battle field is introduced: "From across the river the deep red eyes were still peering… Staring once at the red eyes across the river, he conceived them to be growing larger, as the orbs of a row of dragons advancing” (58-59). Further more color is used here to affect the reader on a personal level; the image of the young and inexperienced soldiers causes the reader to feel inner conflict as the youths are shown as the last type of people one should expect to be fighting in a war, as Crane later states: "… these battalions with their commotions were woven red and startling into the gentle fabric of the softened greens and browns. s used in a literal fashion to describe the field’s green grass while it is simultaneously used to symbolize the innocence of the soldiers in Henry’s battalion. The gaunt, careworn features and dusty figures were made plain by this quaint light at the dawning, but it dressed the skin of the men in corpselike hues and made the tangled limbs appear pulseless and dead" (145).
Through this use of color Crane is able to keep all the soldiers and battles anonymous because he can associate emotion with different shades which are assigned to each confrontation, red is used as an indicator of valor, which is also closely associated to battle, this helps to better connect the enemy soldiers with bloodshed. In his description of all things in the book such as the battle field, or the soldiers, Crane uses a mix of color to give the reader an idea of how to feel and to describe the emotions that Henry feels.
Through out the novel Crane uses color on a literal and symbolical plane in order to give each event and person a feeling to which the reader can relate them to. Crane contrasts red and gray in order to assign a feeling to every battle and person, in this he is able to maintain anonymity for each thing while giving it a personal feel for the reader.
Color is again used when describing the enemy soldiers, who do not sport the same child like qualities that Henry’s battalion does. Green is used once more to describe the youth and innocence of the soldiers; this is in turn contrasted with red which is used to create images of battle and war.
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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by Iibtihel on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:15 pm

Red Badge Of Courage
Courage
is a characteristic that is something everyone wants to have. The ability to stand up to something, and be strong is something that can be very rewarding. It is the very thing that defines the manhood, or womanhood, of someone. In war, courage is something that is almost necessary. One has to stand his ground and fight, even in the face of poor odds. The Red Badge of Courage is the story of two days in a young man’s search for his courage.
Henry Flemming is the main character of The Red Badge of Courage. He is a young man with big dreams. He wants to join the Union Army in an attempt to become a hero. He sees war in a romantic light and as a chance to become the man that he wants to be. He is worried that when it comes down to it, he will run away instead of staying and fighting. Henry’s mother is a hard-working, uneducated farm woman who is reluctant to see her son leave home and go south to do battle against the Confederate Army. She knows that war is not an exciting adventure filled with glory, heroism, and celebration. His two friends Jim Conklin and Tom Wilson, are fellow soldiers with whom he discusses his fears. Tom was very optimistic and encouraged the younger soldiers, however he realizes that he m. . .
It is a very thought-provoking novel. He becomes extremely ashamed of himself and run to the back of the battle. While wandering in the rear of the fighting, he witnesses the death of his friend Jim. Feeling that he is faced with imminent death during the battle, Henry, along with others in his company, throws down his rifle and flees during the second skirmish of the first day’s battle. Henry retrieves his army's colors from the dying Union flag bearer and urges his fellow soldiers on. Henry’s desire for the fighting to stop is unexpectedly granted when he is struck on the head by a rifle of a panic stricken soldier who was also running from the battle. The medical techniques used were horrendous. It was interesting to learn about the assortment of different soldiers in the war. It used the actual armies and locations for battle. Henry finally admitted to Tom that he ran away, and tom tells him that he ran too, but he was caught by a sergeant and was forced to go back and fight.
Henry starts his journey at his company’s campsite. He decides that he would rather run again than watch another comrade die an agonizing death.
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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by Iibtihel on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:16 pm

Red Badge Of Courage
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane traces the effects of war on a Union soldier, Henry Fleming, from his dreams of soldiering, to his actual enlistment, and through several battles of the Civil War. Henry Fleming was not happy with his boring life on the farm. He wanted to become a hero in war and have girls loving him for hisglorious achievements in battle. He knew his mother would not like to see him go to war, but it was his decision to make. He dreamed of the exiting battles of war and the thrill of fighting glorious battles. He didn’t want to stay on the farm with nothing to do, so he made the final decision to enlist.
After enlisting he finds himself just sitting around with nothing to do. He manages to make friends with two other soldiers, John Wilson and Jim Conklin. Wilson was as exited about going to war as Henry, while Jim was confident about the success of the newregiment. Henry started to realize after a few days of marching, that their regiment was just wandering aimlessly, going in circles, like a vast blue demonstration. They kept marching on without purpose, direction, or fighting. Through time Henry started to think about the battles in a different way, a more clos. . .
Wilson got the regiment flag, though later in battle Henry manages to obtain the rebel flag. Henry felt the generals were a lot of ”lunkheads” for making them retreat instead of confronting the enemy. He felt like a servant doing whatever his superiors told him.
When the regiment finally discovers a battle taking place, Jim gives Henry a little packet in a yellow envelope, telling Henry that this will be his first and last battle. In yet another battle, when Henry and Wilson get a chance to carry their flag, they fight over who will retain the flag. Andfrom there, runs to the front of the line with the Lieutenant, leading the way. He grabbed a comrade by the arm and asked the man “why- why-“ not letting go of the mans arm, so the man hit Henry over the head with the butt of his rifle, giving Henry his first Red Badge of Courage. One man started to flee, then another, and another still. He had a wild hate for the relentless foe. e and experienced way, he started to become afraid that he might run from battle when duty calls. At his regiment he confronts Wilson and has his wound on his head attended to. The same time Henry met Jim, he also met a tattered man.
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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by Iibtihel on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:18 pm

The Red Badge of Courage
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane traces the effects of war on a Union soldier, Henry Fleming, from his dreams of soldiering, to his actual enlistment, and through several battles of the Civil War. Henry Fleming was not happy with his boring life on the farm. He wanted to become a hero in war and have girls loving him for his glorious achievements in battle. He knew his mother would not like to see him go to war, but it was his decision to make. He dreamed of the exiting battles of war and the thrill of fighting glorious battles. He didn't want to stay on the farm with nothing to do, so he made the final decision to enlist. After enlisting he finds himself just sitting around with nothing to do. He manages to make friends with two other soldiers, John wilson and Jim Conklin. Wilson was as exited about going to war as Henry, while Jim was confident about the success of the new regiment. Henry started to realize after a few days of marching, that their regiment was just wandering aimlessly, going in circles, like a vast blue demonstration. They kept marching on without purpose, direction, or fighting. Through time He. . .
The same time Henry met Jim, he also met a tattered man. In yet another battle, when Henry and Wilson get a chance to carry their flag, they fight over who will retain the flag. He was not going to be badgered of his life, like a kitten chased by boys. In the next charge, Henry and the tattered man see Jim die a slow, and painful death. At his regiment he confronts wilson and has his wound on his head attended to. Dazed, Henry stumbles around the battle field struggling to stay on his feet, until a cheery man comes around and helps Henry to get back to his regement. He felt that he and his companions were being taunted and derided from sincere convictions that they were poor and puny. When the regement finally discovers a battle taking place, Jim gives Henry a little packet in a yellow envelope, telling Henry that this will be his first and last battle. After a short rest he again gets back into battle. He grabbed a comrad by the arm and asked the man "why- why-" not letting go of the mans arm, so the man hit Henry over the head with the butt of his rifle, giving Henry his first Red Badge of Courage. After the regiment lost that battle, the generals had the regiment marching again. Henry begins to feel that, he and Wilson, are going to die, but goes to battle anyway. He finally got up and started running like a proverbial chicken, who has lost the direction of safety. nry started to think about the battles in a different way, a more close and experienced way, he started to become afraid that he might run from battle when duty calls.
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Re: The Red Badge of Courage: Context & Plot overview

Post by Iibtihel on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:18 pm

red badge of courage
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, while others think that their regiment will never partake in a real battle. While watching this argument, Henry, the protagonist, decides that he would rather go lay down and think rather then take part in the heated argument between the soldiers. Henry, a simple farm boy, is rather excited when he hears the rumor that they will be fighting soon. It had always been a dream of his to fight in a war, and become a hero, and now his dream was coming true. Henry begins to think about what life was like before he entered the army, and reme. . .
He listens in on the battle, and to much of his surprise, he hears cheering from what’s left of his regiment. The first person Henry sees when he gets to the group is his friend Tom. From behind a tree, he looks at all the wounded soldiers. The old man asks Henry “where yeh hit, ol’ boy?” meaning, where he got shot. He refuses to go back to the regiment, because he thinks that everyone will regard him as a coward.
Henry deals with his fear of battle by acting arrogant. Henry becomes very scared, but is too proud to talk to any of the others soldiers about his fears. This final action is what finalizes the movement from innocence to experience for Henry and Tom. They are determined to fight as hard as the can, with all their heart and souls. Jim was his first friend to be killed in battle. The leader feels that there is no way Regiment 304 will survive the battle, and calls the soldiers ‘mule drivers’, thinking that they are slow, and rather stupid. They steal the confederate flag, and are both brave enough to go out on the field with out weapons. Henry tells Tom about his speculations, but Tom will not believe him. “At times he regarded the wounded soldiers in an envious way.
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