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    The Red Badge Of Courage

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    RIMA BEN AYED

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    The Red Badge Of Courage

    Post by RIMA BEN AYED on Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:46 am

    INTRODUCTION

    Commonly considered Stephen Crane's greatest accomplishment, The Red Badge of Courage (1895) ranks among the foremost literary achievements of the modern era. When its publication was announced in Publisher's Weekly on 5 October 1895, Crane was largely unknown. Although his volume of poetry published earlier that year, The Black Riders, had made some waves in literary circles, it struck most readers as quirky and cryptic. The gritty social realism of his first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) had earned praise from literati such as Hamlin Garland and W. D. Howells, but Crane probably gave away more copies than were actually sold. (The story is told that Crane, in a desperate advertising scheme, paid men to ride the Manhattan El train and conspicuously read copies of Maggie.) When Crane signed a contract with D. Appleton and Co. to publish Red Badge, he was not well-known enough to command an advance, and agreed to a flat 10 per cent royalty on the retail price of all copies sold (Weatherford, 5). Published in the autumn of 1895, Red Badge went through two editions before the end of the year. By March of 1896 the novel was in eighth place on the international booksellers' list and had gone through fourteen printings; remarkably enough, Red Badge has never been out of print (6). Unfortunately, unremunerative contracts with publishers and a general lack of good business sense kept Crane insolvent for much of his life. But with the publication of Red Badge, Crane achieved almost overnight celebrity.

    During Crane's lifetime, public interest often focused on his personal life--his bohemian lifestyle, daring journalistic exploits, and eventual expatriation to Britain-- rather than on his writings. Much of the initial press about Crane's novel was full of speculation about who he was, where he came from, and how he could write so convincingly about a war he had never seen. Nevertheless, early reviewers of Red Badge introduced many of the issues which have remained of interest in subsequent critical investigations of Crane's work. His "war novel" won him widespread international praise, from admiring newspaper notices like those in the New York Times and the Philadelphia Press to the more discerning responses of critics such as Englishman George Wyndham and the contemporary dean of American letters, William Dean Howells. For a list of several of the important early reviews of Red Badge, consult the Reviews page of this project.

    BRITISH REVIEWS

    British and American reviewers argued quite a bit about who should get credit for the "discovery" of Crane. While the novel was not universally praised, almost without exception Crane's critics marveled at the emotional power of his vivid, visual prose. Some critics groused about Crane's idiosyncratic grammar--he begins one sentence with "Too," for example--while some others who became involved in the Dial controversy voiced discontent about what they perceived to be Crane's lack of patriotism. English critics tended to take Red Badge more seriously than their American counterparts, pointing out its affinities with works by Tolstoy, Zola, Kipling, and the battle scenes of the Russian realist painter Verestschagin (13). The English critic Sydney Brooks, totally convinced by Crane's depictions of combat in Red Badge, assumed that Crane had fought in the Civil War. If Red Badge were "altogether a work of the imagination, unbased on personal experience," Brooks asserted, "its realism would be nothing short of a miracle." Crane's imaginative effort remains a marvel.

    Perhaps the most perceptive of Crane's English critics was George Wyndham, a Member of Parliament and veteran of the British army. Wyndham was the only one of Crane's early critics to grasp the significance of narrating the novel from the point of view of Private Henry Fleming. Generals' accounts, Wyndham noted, had usually been written from the "band-box" viewpoint and emphasized large-scale concerns (troop movements, tactical maneuvers, wins and losses), neglecting the much more limited but in many ways more intense experience of the anonymous foot soldier. ("The real war," Walt Whitman had declared in his Civil War memoir Specimen Days [1882], "will never get in the books.") What distinguished Crane in his effort to portray modern warfare was his use of what Wyndham called a "new device," that of focusing on the youth and tracing the successive impressions made by the picturesque and emotional experience of war on his "morbidly sensitive" temperament. Wyndham wrote: "[Crane] stages the drama of war, so to speak, within the mind of one man, and then admits you as to a theatre." Crane's reportage of the "procession of flashing images shot through the senses into one brain" combined the "strength and truth of a monodrama with the directness and color of the best narrative prose" (109-110). Wyndham concluded that Crane's account authentic, Henry's soul "truly drawn."

    Much of the impact of Red Badge arose, then, from its powerful pictures of war, the images that leapt off the page into the mind of the reader. But equally important in Wyndham's review was his illumination of the intersection between the picturesque and ethical aspects of the novel. Given that Henry had enlisted in "hasty pursuit of a vanishing ambition," Wyndham suggested that Crane's "battle pictures" were used to dramatize the replacement of Henry's early "tinsel bravado" with his later discovery of "courage in the bedrock of primeval antagonism" (113). Henry's tragic resignation to duty--his commitment to a cause larger than himself--is his final acknowledgment that the "justification of any one life lies in its perfect adjustment to others." Crane's account prophesies the regeneration of America at the same time it suggests the insignificance of heroes. Readers of Red Badge, Wyndham concluded, should infer from Henry's experience that "the virtues so instinctual in moments of distress may be useful also in everyday life" (114).

    AMERICAN REVIEWS

    Early American reviewers of Red Badge were generally not as incisive as Wyndham. Perhaps most surprisingly, one American critic writes suggests that in the novel "a serio-comic effect seems to be intended throughout" (Weatherford, 15). William Dean Howells, writing in Harper's Weekly, praises Crane's "divinations of motive and experience" but expresses doubt about whether Crane can be considered a realist' writer, preferring to call his prose style "impressionistic" (critics still debate about which, if either, of these labels to use). Novelist Harold Frederic, London editor of the New York Times, recognized Red Badge as a masterpiece. He wrote that it would likely be "one of the deathless books which must be read by everybody who desires to be, or to seem, a connoisseur of modern fiction" (116). From our current perspective we can see that Frederic was right: Crane's journalistic description and ironic understatement comprise a stylistic legacy which has descended through Hemingway and early Mailer and done a great deal in shaping American literature as we know it (Delbanco, 57).

    Like many early reviewers, Frederic expressed admiration for the emotional power of Crane's work, but he was one of the very few who recognized the boldness and originality of Crane's technique. "The Red Badge," Frederic claimed, "impels the feeling that the actual truth about a battle has never been guessed before" (Weatherford, 116). Like Wyndham before him, who had compared the novel to a monodrama presented in the "theatre" of war, Frederic emphasized the novel's visual aspects and its radical reduction in point of view and narrative scope. "We do not know, or seek to know...anything...except what, staring through the eyes of Henry Fleming, we are permitted to see" (117). Red Badge was a "tremendously effective battle painting;" the trial of a soldier in war, he maintained, "seems never to have been painted as well before" (118). Henry's actions seemed the actions of the readers' own minds.

    But later in his review Frederic made a more suggestive assessment. Acknowledging that battle painters have always depicted horses in motion "not as they actually move, but as it has been agreed by numberless generations of draughtsmen to say that they move," Frederic held that Crane's novel shatters such conventions. "At last, along comes a Muybridge [American photographer who specialised in pictures of animals in motion], with his instantaneous camera, and shows that the real motion is entirely different." Red Badge is remarkable for its abandonment of painterly conventions and conveyance of a "photographic revelation." Frederic concludes that the authenticity of Crane's vision is a "novel force" which may do other "remarkable things" (119). This intelligently enthusiastic review of the novel did much to focus international attention on the relatively unknown Crane. The two men became friends but remained literary rivals: Frederic's The Damnation of Theron Ware outsold Red Badge in 1896.

    THE DIAL CONTROVERSY

    One of the most notable features of Red Badge's reception in America is the controversy about Crane's patriotism that raged in the pages of the Dial, a magazine owned by the conservative General Alexander C. McClurg. The outspoken McClurg, who had risen to the rank of Brigadier-General in the Northern Army, attacked Red Badge for portraying a Union soldier as a coward. Although Dial editor William Morton Payne had already made evident the magazine's disapproval of Red Badge, McClurg maintained that Payne's assessment had not been unfavorable enough. Criticizing those English and American reviewers who had praised Red Badge, McClurg fumed at what he saw as another installment in the habitual English ridicule of American soldiers. Mistakenly assuming that Crane's novel had been first published in England, McClurg denounced it as a "vicious satire upon American soldiers and American armies," as part of a plot to undermine confidence in the nation's armed forces (15). Such books, McClurg finished, should never be allowed to be published in America.

    The first response to General McClurg's broadside came in a letter from J. L. Onderdonk, who, expressing his agreement with McClurg's position, ridiculed Red Badge as a "literary absurdity." In the same issue of the Dial, Ripley Hitchcock writes to the editors on behalf of the publishers of the novel, D. Appleton & Co. In an understated tone which contrasts pointedly with McClurg's heated prose, Hitchcock points out and corrects some of the General's mistakes while reminding readers of the numerous favorable notices garnered by the novel. English critic Sydney Brooks, who had earlier praised Red Badge in the Saturday Review, wrote to the Dial in defense of Crane's novel. Dismissing McClurg's incendiary speculations about English opinion of the novel as "misjudged patriotism and bad criticism," Brooks rightly points out that McClurg's notion of literary standards constituted a form of censorship which would allow only the most celebratory accounts of American life to be published (16). The good-natured good sense of Brooks' letter ended the Dial controversy.

    JOSEPH CONRAD REMEMBERS

    A quarter-century after Crane's death, Joseph Conrad remembered in Last Essays (1926) that the appearance of Red Badge had been "one of the most enduring memories of my literary life." Calling Crane "non-comparable" as an artist, Conrad notes sorrowfully that Crane's life bore a marked parallel with that of Red Badge's "tattered soldier": "it was his fate, too, to fall early in the fray." Today, Crane's critical reputation remains strong, and a resurgence of attention to literary realism--New Essays on the Red Badge of Courage (1986), Amy Kaplan's The Social Construction of American Realism (1988), Giorgio Mariani's Spectacular Narratives: Representations of Class and War in the American 1890s (1992)--demonstrates the continued centrality of many of the questions expressed by the early reviewers of Red Badge. Much of this recent criticism grapples with issues first raised in Wyndham and Frederic--the photographic and theatrical aspects of Crane's prose; his abandonment of narrative conventions in pursuit of a more "authentic" reality. Mariani, for example, reads Red Badge as a novel of specatular descriptions--vivid scenes which would satisfy the embryonic consumer society of the 1890s' desire for thrilling spectacle (Mariani, 4). For Amy Kaplan, realism is a "representation of reality struggling against other forms of representation" (Kaplan, 1986, 13). This definition restores to realism its "dynamic literary qualities" by integrating it with the social context out of which it developed: Red Badge struggles with other representations of late 19th century reality--popular war novels, chivalric romances, jingoistic journalism. Thus although much of the early critical scrutiny of Red Badge boiled down to biographical speculation and nationalistic cheerleading, we can be grateful to those few reviewers who realized Red Badge was doing important cultural work. Their analyses suggest some of the reasons why Red Badge became the standard against which all of Crane's subsequent work was measured.

    CONCLUSION

    Early reviews of Red Badge raised three issues that will remain of central interest to the remainder of this project. First, there is Crane's concern with authenticity. Written in a post-photographic age, Red Badge discards contemporaneous conventions of battlefield prose for a discontinuous succession of "flashing images" that yield "photographic revelations." Crane limits the novel's point of view and fragments its narrative in order to focus the impact of each of his "battle pictures" and make us see the truth of his descriptions. Second, although much of General McClurg's commentary about Red Badge's lack of patriotism, for example, is overheated and irrelevant, he was not entirely wrong to suggest that Crane's novel raised potentially disquieting questions about the state of turn-of-the-century American society. The next two sections of this project confront some of those questions. And finally, while Crane's early critics did not realize that Red Badge is set at the Civil War battle of Chancellorsville, subsequent scholarly inquiry has revealed this to be the case. The next section of this project, "The Battle: Chancellorsville," suggests that Crane drew on literary and pictorial sources in order to establish the factual framework of Chancellorsville as the setting for Red Badge.
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    ibtihel

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    Re: The Red Badge Of Courage

    Post by ibtihel on Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:05 pm

    Plot Summary

    The Red Badge of Courage is a fictional psychological portrait of a young soldier named Henry Fleming, tracing the thread of his emotions and reactions to events that transpire during an unnamed battle of the Civil War. Henry is an average farm boy from upstate New York, who dreams of the glory of battle that he has read about in school. He has enlisted in the 304th New York regiment, which fights for the Northern (Unionist) forces.

    The novel opens with Henry's regiment in camp by a river, where they have been for several months. Rumors of upcoming battle fly among the men but are largely unfounded, and the perpetual anticipation throws Henry into a bitter interior fight. He questions if he has the inner strength and courage to become a good soldier and is unsure whether or not it is in his realm of capability. He knows battle only through schoolbooks and soldiers' stories, and fears the possible ridicule of his peers, should he be deemed a coward by running from battle.
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    The northern army is finally put on the move and marched across the river, where they meet with Southern (Confederate) forces. Henry's regiment is initially put in a reserve position, and he is able to witness battle before actually coming in contact with it. Finally his regiment successfully repels a charge by the enemy, and Henry feels relief and elation at his feeling of success. The enemy charges again, however, and Henry flees, in the belief that his regiment will be overrun. This sends Henry on a long day's journey along the battle lines, in which he bitterly reproaches himself for running, but at the same time tries to justify what he has done. He witnesses battle, then journeys into the surrounding woods, where he finds a decaying dead man in a clearing. Running away from the body and back to the battle, Henry takes up with the procession of wounded men trudging to the army's rear for care. There he meets his friend Jim Conklin from his regiment, who has been shot in the side. He cares for Jim with another man, called the "Tattered Soldier," until Jim dies in a field. The Tattered Soldier's repeated questions regarding Henry's supposed injuries anger and embarrass Henry until he leaves the Tattered Soldier alone to die in a field, a fact that later haunts Henry.

    Leaving the Tattered Soldier, Henry witnesses the charge and subsequent retreat of a Union regiment. The men retreat right through the spot from which Henry is watching the battle, and a man that he stops to ask questions about the charge hits Henry in the head with the butt of his rifle, injuring him. Having been wounded by his own comrade, Henry is only able to stumble toward the rear. He is later helped back to his depleted regiment by a cheerful soldier whose face he never sees. Back in camp, Henry meets up with another man from his regiment named Wilson. Henry senses an incredible psychological growth and maturation in Wilson since their first days in camp, and envies him. The two become great friends.

    The next day the battle continues, and Henry's regiment is placed on the edge of some woods and ordered to defend it. Here Henry achieves the classic valor for which he has sought; he fights so hard and courageously that both his comrades and his command look up to him. Later, while looking for water, both Henry and Wilson overhear a general speaking poorly of their regiment, saying he can spare them for a charge because they fight so poorly. This angers them, and creates in Henry the desire to show up the command. The regiment is sent in to charge for the first time, and amid heavy casualties, Henry saves the regiment's flag when the color bearer is shot. He becomes, along with Wilson, the noncommissioned leader of his regiment. The charge essentially fails at first and Henry's regiment is forced to retreat. Then however, they are charged by a Confederate regiment, and Henry's regiment repulses them, eventually taking their regimental flag. Even though the generals reproach the regiment's command for failing in the charge, Wilson and Henry are considered heroes in the classic sense, at least externally.

    Henry undergoes countless interior changes throughout his ordeal, which offset the externally visible accolades of courage that the others shower on him. His newfound manhood at the end of the battle is described as a strong, clearheaded confidence, a sense of self-assurance that he had never before felt in his endless internal bickering. The internal peace and calm is a far cry from what had first brought him to war - the idealistic Greek-like portrayals of valor and manhood that he had been exposed to only in books.
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    ibtihel

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    Re: The Red Badge Of Courage

    Post by ibtihel on Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:05 pm

    Major Characters

    Henry Fleming (the 'Youthful Soldier'): Henry is the main character in the story, and his experience is that around which the story of the battle is narrated. Henry is an average 1860's teenager, who comes from a small New York farming family. His father has died a premature death. He is forever wrestling with his own internal dilemmas concerning courage, fear, and manhood. The story of the battle becomes Henry's story of growing up.

    Jim Conklin (the 'Tall Soldier') : A northern soldier and friend of Henry Fleming, who is forever talking about unfounded rumors of troop movements. He is wounded and later dies on the first day of battle. Henry finds him in the line of wounded men walking to the rear of the battle - he has been shot in the side and Henry watches him wander off and die in an open field.

    Wilson (the 'Loud Soldier'): A man who Henry Fleming initially resents but then befriends in battle and later comes to respect greatly. They essentially become the non-commissioned leaders of their regiment on the last day of the battle. Their regiment charges and Henry, with Wilson at his side, takes up the regiment's colors (flag) when the color bearer is killed. Wilson is responsible for capturing the opposing regiment's colors after the successful charge.
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    Minor Characters

    Bill Smithers: A soldier who falls during the first march out of camp and gets his fingers stepped on while trying to retrieve his rifle. He goes to the hospital and is mentioned throughout the novel by members of his regiment.

    The Youth's Company's lieutenant (Hasbrouck): The youth's immediate commanding officer. He is shot through the hand during the first day of battle, but stays on to lead his men. He is later shot in the arm, during the second day's charge.

    The 'Tattered Soldier': A wounded man who tries to befriend Henry as he marches with the line of wounded men to the rear. The Tattered Soldier follows him and with him watches Jim Conklin (the Tall Soldier) die from an earlier gunshot to the side. He repeatedly asks Henry where he is shot, but this makes Henry angry and ashamed since he has not yet been wounded. Henry leaves the man wandering aimlessly to die alone, a fact that later haunts Henry.

    The 'Man with the Cheery Voice': A Union soldier who befriends and helps Henry back to his regiment after the first day's battle. Henry never sees the man's face.

    Corporal Simpson: The officer in Henry's regiment who takes care of Henry's head wound after the first day of fighting. Henry claims that he has been shot, even though he was actually hit in the head with the butt of a rifle by another Union soldier.

    Jimmie Rogers: A soldier in Henry's regiment who is shot through the body in the forest on the second day of battle.

    Colonel MacChesnay: A colonel in Henry's regiment, who leads the second day's charge and is afterward reproached by the high-ranking officer who called the regiment a lot of mule drivers.
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    ibtihel

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    Re: The Red Badge Of Courage

    Post by ibtihel on Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:06 pm

    Topic Tracking: Fear of Battle

    Chapter 1

    Fear of Battle 1: Henry's first reaction to the thought of battle once he is stationed in camp is a confused one. He is having a hard time reconciling the images of war that have been idealized in schoolbooks, of Greek soldiers cutting a valiant profile through battle, with the drab reality of day to day life in a muddy camp. He is scared of having to live up to the Greek ideal because he doesn't know if he possesses the "strength" he thinks it would take to fight bravely. At the same time, he questions the existence of the ideal at all, for in the present day, camp is nothing like a storybook. He though he would feel the heroism of lore once he enlisted, but perhaps it is simply something he has constructed within himself.

    Chapter 2
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    Fear of Battle 2: Fear remains, for the first part of the novel, an internally constructed phenomenon. Henry is not afraid of battle itself - he cannot be, for he has never been in battle before. He is sick with anticipation and expectation; both are eating him alive. The fear here is as bad as it is at any other point in the book; not because of the immediate threat of death, but because of the unreconciled walk into the unknown.

    Chapter 3

    Fear of Battle 3: Henry is caught in limbo here - the anticipatory fear has reached a point where it ebbs and flows in his mind as he alternately wants it to go away, and tries to justify it. Here Henry reaches a point of self-assured justification.

    Fear of Battle 4: This is the first time that real, visceral fear is evident in a soldier. In a way this is the proof Henry has been looking for - the Loud Soldier has let Henry know that he is not invincible, and Henry has evidence that others share his fear.

    Chapter 4

    Fear of Battle 5: The fear glimpsed in the Loud Soldier becomes more generally evident; the difference between the veteran regiments and the youth's untried regiment also reveals itself. There is a great difference in the way each one reacts to battle - the initial reaction of the new regiment is outright fear, while the outward reaction of those who have already seen battle and witnessed death, is to respond with biting sarcasm and black humor.

    Chapter 6

    Fear of Battle 6: Just as Henry's internal doubts follow cycles in the novel, his reactions to battle are just as confused. In the moment of fighting he is an invincible machine, in the moment afterward he feels joy and control over the aggressors, and in the next moment he feels the enemy to be overwhelming him completely.

    Chapter 11

    Fear of Battle 7: The burst of courage that Henry feels is purely produced by the actions of those around him; he feels compelled to be like the idealized warriors he perceives the men in front of him to be. Yet, his internal doubt of being able to fulfill the social expectations that he feels ultimately holds him back from acting on this burst of courage.

    Chapter 12

    Fear of Battle 8: With Wilson's newfound maturity comes an acceptance of battle, which is neither the quaking fear of the new regiment or the biting sarcasm of the veteran soldiers. This is the first glimpse of the true internal strength that Henry searches for within himself. It is a glimpse of something that does not surface often among the soldiers who have found it, for Henry sees that the veterans often cover up this internal strength with a cocky sarcasm that is both imposing and difficult to see through.

    Chapter 17

    Fear of Battle 9: "Fear" of battle has perhaps given way to something more subtle; with Henry's acceptance of battlefield reality comes a more pervasive feeling of injustice that Henry felt on the previous day when he felt pushed along by his regiment. This feeling is one of a desperate helplessness, breeding an all-encompassing hatred. This sense of hate, ironically, helps Henry to achieve the storybook ideal of the warrior, and find inner peace.

    Chapter 20

    Fear of Battle 10: Throughout this entire sequence of charge, retreat, and charge, Henry and the rest of the men are spurred on by the sense of the collective that they had discovered the day before. Although this sense of the whole grips the men both for the advances and the retreats, Henry and Wilson's lead under the regimental flag becomes a rallying symbol for this collective and, ultimately, leads to their sense of success when they overtake the enemy.

    Chapter 23

    Fear of Battle 11: At this point, Henry's fear has given way almost completely, and has been replaced by a need for some type of justice in the face of Henry's own command, and against the enemy, be that through victory or death.
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    ibtihel

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    Re: The Red Badge Of Courage

    Post by ibtihel on Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:07 pm

    Topic Tracking: Maturation

    Topic Tracking: Maturation

    Chapter 1
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    Maturation 1: The Red Badge of Courage is a story of a psychological growth into manhood, through the medium of war. The characters, for the most part, remain generic nameless and faceless portraits of men. Henry, the main character, is almost all the time referred to as either "The Youthful Soldier," or "The Youth." In the first chapter, Henry's first musings are a starting point for his psychological growth - his inexperienced thoughts are full of theoretical ideals. He has no idea about the "truth" of war or manhood, but can only speculate from his schooling and reading.

    Chapter 2

    Maturation 2: Comparing this example of Henry's internal dilemma to previous ones, a cyclical thread begins to form. The psychological debate in the novel takes on a redundant air early on and keeps that trend throughout. Henry keeps going back and forth, struggling between what he thinks at any given time and what his emotions are telling him to do. Here, he second guesses everything he has deemed right up to this point - his enlistment, his desire to leave home against his mother's wishes, etc.

    Chapter 3

    Maturation 3: This is another twist on Henry's cyclical mental torture. He is proceeding from one overwhelming emotion to the next: from excitement, to doubt, to adulation, to self-pity, to fear, and finally, to helpless defeat.

    Chapter 5

    Maturation 4: Although Henry remains thoroughly internal in his thinking, he becomes, for the first time, something more than a helpless individual, able only to compare himself relative to others. He enters a place where the larger ideal is more important than individual survival. The change is momentary, however - as happens time and time again in the novel, a psychological step forward is accompanied by a large step backward, as Henry follows up this realization by fleeing.

    Chapter 8

    Maturation 5: After his flight from battle, Henry still struggles with two opposing forces: what his conscious mind is telling him to do in the moment (to run), and what the instilled emotional ideals about war are telling him (to value a Greek notion of courage and valor). He first tries to justify his flight through natural means: his actions were purely an instinct to survive. Despite these justifications, he feels ashamed around the men who stayed in the battle long enough to be wounded. He is still a long way off from any inner reconciliation.

    Chapter 10

    Maturation 6: Although Henry seems to have made little headway on the inner maturity and courage he desires, he acknowledges that the societal pressures he feels are overwhelming to the point of superseding the desire for life itself. While the instinct to run, like the squirrel from the pine cone, is "natural" (and in that sense justifiable), competing social pressures are enough for Henry to face death willingly. The natural instinct to survive is overridden altogether - Henry actually feels as if he wants to be wounded, and that he wants to die. Such an outcome would be heroic in the eyes of others.

    Chapter 14

    Maturation 7: Henry first encounters the experiential manhood he has been struggling toward (albeit unknowingly). He sees new qualities in his friend that he perceives as good; he envies them and for the first time, sees a tangible glimpse of the inner strength he desires to find in himself.

    Chapter 15

    Maturation 8: Although the tone of this passage is still largely naïve and smacking of cocky, youthful inexperience, Henry has taken a turn for the better. He has seen the soft assurance of his friend Wilson, and is heading in that direction himself. His basis for the assurance he feels might be misplaced and founded on feelings of superiority, but Henry has undoubtedly undergone a huge psychological turn since he was first languishing in camp.

    Chapter 17

    Maturation 9: Henry comes to a major realization - that the mental boundaries and subsequent anguish he has put himself through were little more than that - mental boundaries. To this point, he has allowed his internal reflection to be mapped onto his perception of reality. When he thinks of the enemy as fierce, unstoppable beasts, he allows that belief to color his interpretation of events that transpire. Now, however, he realizes the discrepancy between belief and empirical reality. Henry has found the strength of the heroic ideal he once placed on a pedestal. His inner self has become less conflicted and confident.

    Chapter 18

    Maturation 10: Henry has suddenly come to a realization in this instant. His jumbled psychological interior has taken a back seat; the emphasis has gone from personal justification to humility in the face of reality. He seems to be developing qualities he saw in Wilson, when he changed. It isn't simply that the content of his thinking has changed, the entire method by which he perceives events has changed along with it.

    Chapter 20

    Maturation 11: The notion of manhood as a grim, calm sense of confidence is one echoed as the ideal throughout the novel; it is a far cry from the idyllic mental images of manhood and war that led Henry to the army in the first place. This confidence is reflected in the calm, down to earth demeanor Henry observed in his friend Wilson, and the same sense he feels after the battle, when he casts off his idealistic notions of bravery.

    Chapter 24

    Maturation 12: Henry has made his final step to maturity, and achieves the values he observed Wilson to have found earlier. He has tested himself and found that he can cast off the evils of battle and social expectations, and this has led him to an easy sense of confidence and inner peace that he labels as true manhood.
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    ibtihel

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    Re: The Red Badge Of Courage

    Post by ibtihel on Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:08 pm

    The Red Badge of Courage
    By Stephen Crane

    Four main characters (and one-sentence description of each)

    Henry Fleming (the youth) - Henry, the main character of the novel, was at first very excited to go to war joining the army against his mother’s wishes, but he finds war frightening and he becomes a coward to later become a hero.

    Jim Conklin (the tall soldier) - Jim was a close friend that Henry had met in the army where he gets shot and is nursed by Henry.

    Wilson (the loud soldier) - Wilson was a friend of Henry in the army who was at first loud and obnoxious but proves helpful when Henry became wounded.

    Henry’s mother - She shows up at the beginning of the book and tells Henry that she does not want him joining the army, but wishes him luck when he does anyway.

    Two minor characters (and one-sentence description of each)

    Tattered soldier - He pestered Henry at the camp before they set off to fight.

    Cheery soldier - He helped Henry back to camp after Henry fled.

    Three main settings (and one sentence description of each)

    The forest - All of the fighting occurs in the forest where Henry learns about fear and valor.

    The camp - This is the Union base where the army set up for the night.

    One paragraph plot outline

    The book starts out with a new regiment for the Union army waiting around for some fighting. Jim Conklin, a friend of the main character, Henry Fleming, hears some rumors about their next movements. He tells the other soldiers of the rumors telling them that they’re going to go around the enemy and attack them from behind. Sure enough, a few days later, they start marching and they attack. This is the first battle for the regiment so a few soldiers, including Henry Fleming, desert the regiment. After Henry deserts, he finds Jim and walks with him for a while before Jim dies. Henry wanders about a bit and gets in a fight with another lost soldier of the Union army who hits him across the head with the butt of his rifle causing Henry to bleed. By night, Henry, with the help of another soldier, finds his way back to his own regiment. Luckily, no one suspects Henry of deserting. Henry lies about the head wound being from the battle. During the night, Henry is cared for by a friend named Wilson. By morning, Henry is well rested and fights with his regiment several battles that day. Henry always stayed in the front and encouraged the other soldiers to fight harder showing much courage. He was complimented by the Colonel, but despite his victory, he still feels guilty about deserting his regiment the day before.

    Two symbols and references

    The red badge - The red badge, a blood stain, was a symbol of courage for other soldiers, however, for Henry, it becomes a sign of cowardice since he received his from a fight with another union soldier after deserting.

    The flag - The flag carried during battle is a sign of an army’s place in the battle. It also displayed the courage of the person who had to carry it since the flag bearer must always stand at the front lines.

    Two or three sentences on style

    Crane’s style is short and simple. His sentences are not long or flowery. Although he does not use very many figurative devices, his writing is easy to understand making reading quick and easy.

    One or two sentences on dominant philosophy

    The dominant philosophy in this book was that Henry and his fellow soldiers were not in complete control of their actions during the heat of battle. They fought despite the risk of death not because of their love for their country but for adrenaline, while the soldiers who deserted did so not because of apathy for their country, but for the fear of the moment.

    Four short quotations typical of the work. (Include speaker, occasion)

    “He felt a quiet manhood, nonassertive, of sturdy and strong blood.” Henry becomes a man after fighting courageously in battle.

    “The landscape gave him assurance... it was the religion of peace.” This is an example of imagery as Crane describes the area around the battlefield.

    “There was a silence safe for the chanting chorus of the trees.” This is another example of imagery. Crane describes the atmosphere between shots on the battlefield.

    “He, too, threw down his gun and fled. There was no shame in his face. He ran like a rabbit.” Crane describes the way Henry fled from battle. It was not thought out or decided upon, but a reflexive action.

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    Re: The Red Badge Of Courage

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      Current date/time is Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:20 pm