This essay examines the impressionism exhibited by Stephen Crane in the novel The Red Badge of Courage.

Essay by sweetstrwbry22131High School, 11th grade March 2004

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Impressionism in the Red Badge of Courage

The use of impressionism works remarkably well to paint a vivid depiction of war, which is not all fame and honor, as many believe it to be. In The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane focuses in on a soldier named Henry in the Civil War by describing many aspects of his life with Impressionistic ways. The youthfulness of Henry's struggle through the beginning of the war is analyzed in the Impressionistic way that Henry feels his experience. The book describes how Henry, in his youthful ways, really feels the emotions of the war and the experiences he encounters. The Impressionistic ways tell of the serene nature and how the war is a man-made event.

Impressionism has been shown throughout the novel in such ways to depict the hardships, fear, and panic soldiers must endure and the emotions of nature. The main character, Henry sees the faraway army camps in the sun as he sees "From across the river the red eyes were still peering.

In the eastern sky there was a yellow patch like a rug laid for the feet of the coming sun; and against it, black and pattern like, loomed the gigantic figure of the colonel on a gigantic horse."(Crane 13) The red eyes seem to depict the violence and the yellow is the cowardly way Henry sees the war, but as the color of the sun it seems strong and proud.

There are also many patterns that emerge in The Red Badge of Courage which include Henry's encounters with death. He first sees the corpse as a realistic image and then it moves to an impressionistic way of telling how "the invulnerable dead man forced a way for himself. The youth looked keenly at the ashen face. The wind...