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The Red Badge of Courage Symbols

  • Date Submitted: 09/15/2013 12:47 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.7 
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In the novel, The Red Badge of Courage , Stephen Crane uses many symbols to give something a deeper meaning. Nature is a really important symbol in this novel and it helps develops the story and gives it more depth. Henry Fleming realizes that nature is indifferent and he learns this throughout the course of the novel. The Red Badge of Courage   by Stephen Crane uses nature as a symbol by stating that nature doesn’t have anything to do with human actions and that nature has no regards with what humans in society do.
Throughout the novel, The Red Badge of Courage   by Stephen Crane, nature is indifferent to what people do in society. After Henry Fleming fought his first battle, he is very surprised to see that the weather is really nice and nature is calm and peaceful. “As he gazed around him the youth felt a flash of astonishment at the blue, pure sky and the sun gleaming on the trees and fields. It was surprising that Nature had gone tranquilly on with her golden process in the midst of so much devilment.” (Ch.5, p. 50.) He is confused on how the skies are so clear and the sun is brightly shining meanwhile there were bloody battles being fought. Crane describes the sky being just as blue and beautiful after the battles have been fought as before. Also, at the end of the novel, in many of the battles, the skies are always bright blue and clear after the Union men fight. Crane shows in his novel that anything that happens in society does not affect nature in any way.
Another way that Crane uses nature in The Red Badge of Courage as a symbol is when Henry Fleming sees a dead body of a soldier. Henry Fleming sees this dead body
and ants are crowded around the body and eating it. The fact that he sees ants feeding off a soldier’s dead body shows that nature is unsympathetic to humans Even though nature is indifferent with human actions, the act of the ants feeding on the dead body shows Naturalism. Crane uses Naturalism in this novel which is when human beings are...


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