Henry Fleming

Essay by mz_bi0tchHigh School, 10th gradeF, April 2005

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Henry Fleming is a Victim of War.

A victim is a person who suffers injury, loss, or death as a result of voluntary undertaking or one who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, agency or condition. Henry Fleming in The Red Badge of Courage is a victim of war because he experienced hardships both mentally and physically and because he underwent the insanities of war.

One of the definitions of a victim is one who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency or condition. In The Red Badge of Courage, Henry Fleming experiences hardships during the war-both mentally and physically. In chapter 9 page 49 Henry explains how he wants a wound like all the other soldiers-thinking that a wound is like "a red badge of courage.". ("At times he...") Henry's longing for a wound is from the fact that he considers a wound to be undeniable proof of courage in battle.

In Chapter 12 page 63, Henry gets slammed in the head by a rifle. ("The man screamed...ran on") This would be an example of a physical hardship Henry had to face showing he was a victim of war. Henry's wounding is ironic because in no way does it involve courageous behavior. Because it happens as a result of a desperate misunderstanding with a comrade and would not have occurred had Henry been in battle. Whereas Henry was looking for a wound as a sign of courage, his actual wound was a mark of shame.

Henry also experienced a mental hardship during war. For example, in chapter 9, Henry encounters the wounded soldiers as heroic and fearless, but soon watches them both die right in front of his eyes. On page 52, it says "His tall figure..friend." Henry had...