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Red Badge of Courage

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 12:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.1 
  • Words: 627
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The Red Badge of Courage is a novel by Stephen Crane about a boy, Henry Fleming,   “who is caught up in an unnamed Civil war battle… and in his struggle to find reality amid the nightmarish chaos of war… discovers courage, humility and perhaps wisdom.”

The book begins with a regiment of soldiers awakening to a tall man running waving his shirt like a banner   “swelling with a tale he had heard from a reliable friend, who had heard it from a truthful cavalryman, who had heard it from his trustworthy brother, one of the orderlies at division headquarters.” The regiment was finally going to move. This excited and upset some of the soldiers because the regiment had been camped there for a long period of time. Some of the soldiers believed the tall man and were grateful they were finally moving, others were angry with him because they did not believe they would move because they had been there for such a long time. This caused   “altercations” among the regiment with   “epithets” thrown towards the tall man.

After the “youthful private” had heard enough   “he went to his hut and crawled through an intricate hole that served as a door. He wished to be alone with some new thoughts that he had lately come to him.” As the youth, Henry, was pondering his thoughts Crane flashes back to the time Henry enlisted in the army. Henry’s mother did not want him to enlist because she believed he was of more importance on the farm rather then on a battle field, but Henry had read about glorious battles and longed to see it all.

A few pages from the flashback the regiment is finally moving and going into battle. The men talk among themselves about whether or not they will run. When the question gets to Henry he says he will stay and fight unless everyone else runs, and in that case he will too. When they finally get to the point where they are fighting Henry gets a little nervous but stays and they win that battle. But then the rebels lead a surprise attack and two...


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