The Red Badge of Courage:The First True American War StoryWhen someone comes up with something new to say and a new way to say it, that someone is called an original. Stephen Crane's A Red Badge of Courage is a work so rare, that people have and will keep reading it for generations. This single work marked the beginning of a new era in American Literature. It is important to understand the back ground of Stephen Crane and the current events of his day. Theses elements contributed to the creation of America's first modern war story. The Red Badge of Courage has merit for the ages because of two major reasons; it is a classic coming of age story, and also incorporates two key elements of his original style Realism, and Impressionism.
In order to understand the genius of the work, you must understand the author. Stephen Crane was the youngest of fourteen children, born to a very religious family, whose father was a Methodist minister.
Part of his interest in writing was developed because of his parents, who wrote articles for the church, and also from his brothers, two of whom were journalists. Crane had never witnessed a war in his life before writing The Red Badge of Courage but he was a fan of popular war stories by Leo Tolstoy and other memoirs of Civil War veterans. (Napierkowski 253) Crane was a man who was obsessed by acts of courage, and a predominant place for people to make acts of courage is on the battle field. "Crane's whole life testifies to his admiration for courage, and Henry Felming unquestionably has it" (Breslin 270). Courage is not the only element to a hero, but it is one of many portrayed on the battlefield.
The location of the...