The Red Badge Of Courage: Three Page Summary

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

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The book, The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, is based during the grueling times of the Civil War. It covers a time span of about a month and is about the mental thoughts and physical experiences of one young man named Henry (the youth). This novel would be considered a historical fiction for it does not contain any famous people and no names of specific battles, throughout the book, are given. However, the thoughts and experiences of the youth during the book are identical to those of a common soldier during the time period of the Civil War.

Every page of the novel contains some different and meaningful mental phase that Henry is battling with of fighting against. At one point during the story, Henry finds himself torn upon one decision. He struggles to bring himself to decide whether or not he is going to flee the scene of battle.

After he finally takes the action of dropping his rifle and running, he is faced with a steady flow of mental and emotional torment. This one cowardly decision leads him to more and more lies. He is haunted by that one intense moment of thought throughout the story.

The youth was only a typical farm boy when he decided to go off to war. He remembers how his lower-middle class farming family was bitterly crushed by the news of his decision to go and fight for his country. One who was most deeply affected by his actions was his mother. Henry had gone to school in the pattern that most country people of his time had. That is, he'd go for a month or two when the tiresome need for hands on the farm was less. With a few new lessons under his belt he would...