Red Badge of Courage

Essay by Timo169 June 2005

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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 Henry 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. He felt like a servent doing whatever his superiors told him.

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. The regiment managed to hold

off the rebels for the first charge, but then the rebels came back

like machines of...