The Red Badge Of Courage

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

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The Red Badge of Courage, written by Stephen Crane, Is a book written to show the lives and actions of a young solider in the middle of a war. This book was set during the many battles of the U.S. Civil War.

The Red Badge of Courage begins with a young New York boy named Henry Fleming, preparing to leave to war. He has ideas and thoughts in his mind about victory and heroism. When Henry gets to the field, his 304th regiment does nothing but march on to new sights. They never really fight. One day Jim, one of Henry's good friends, comes back to camp with great news that they would be going to war the next day. All his comrades make fun and laugh at Jim because no one believes him. As is turned out the next day it was a lie and the soldiers were again faced with marching and no fighting.

Henry was very unhappy.

Finally, the Lieutenant of the 304th regiment tells his troops they will be entering war. Very quickly in the battle Henry finds out that his fantasies of victory and heroism were very different in the real war. Henry becomes frightened with thoughts of death and runs away from battle. Henry had to learn to deal with the shame he feels on deserting his comrades.

When he returned to his camp, he lied and said that he was separated during combat and was shot. Henry wasn't really shot. He was struck in the head with a rifle by a fleeing solider of his regiment. Henry was ashamed and wanted another chance to prove his courage. Henry was soon given another chance to fight and prove he was not a coward.

As Henry's regiment was on their way to...