Theme of Conquering Fear in Red Badge of Courage

Essay by aircaptain9High School, 10th gradeA+, March 2009

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A Major Theme In The Red Badge of CourageStephen Crane's novel, The Red Badge of Courage is a story of Henry conquering fear. Although this is the main story, a major theme is expressed. Each person is alone in the universe and must look into themselves for greatness.

In The Red Badge of Courage the universe is shown as uncaring towards life. For example, when Jim is walking down the road he is afraid because he will be trampled if he falls to the ground. Not stopping for a wounded veteran is not being in a hurry, it is not caring. The soldiers are in such a state of shock that they no longer care about what's around them. Also, as the soldiers are fighting, the story says the battle went on it seemed like nature had no ears. As a battle rages on, the uncaring universe is paying no attention to the loss of life.

The forest just went on with its normal ways, even though there were people dieing all around.

The novel also shows that a person must look inside ones self to achieve greatness and worth. For instance, when Henry is fighting he is so mad and so intense on shooting that he keeps on firing his rifle long after the others in his regiment have stopped. Henry became so focused on firing his gun that he became detached mentally from those around him. When someone concentrates on something hard enough, they are capable of doing things they didn't think they could do. In addition, Henry takes the flag from the dead hands of the man holding the flag, just to get glory. Prying the flag from a man's dead hands shows great courage. Henry looks inside himself to get the strength to pick up the flag.

The Red Badge of Courage shows that we are alone in an uncaring world. People must search inside themselves for the strength to go on. People still find strength in themselves, but the world is much more caring than it was in the 1800's.

No Bibliography, this was an out of class paper we had to come up with on our own. The only sources were my head and the book, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane