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His regiment encounters a small group of Confederates, and in the ensuing fight Henry proves to be a capable soldier, comforted by the belief that his previous cowardice had not been noticed, as he "had performed his mistakes in the dark, so he was still a man". The officer speaks casually about sacrificing the th because they are nothing more than "mule drivers" and "mud diggers.

In the final battle, Henry acts as the flag-bearer after the color sergeant falls. A line of Confederates hidden behind a fence beyond a clearing shoots with impunity at Henry's regiment, which is ill-covered in the tree-line. Facing withering fire if they stay and disgrace if they retreat, the officers order a charge. Unarmed, Henry leads the men while entirely escaping injury. Most of the Confederates run before the regiment arrives, and four of the remaining men are taken prisoner.

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The novel closes with the following passage:. It rained. The procession of weary soldiers became a bedraggled train, despondent and muttering, marching with churning effort in a trough of liquid brown mud under a low, wretched sky. Yet the youth smiled, for he saw that the world was a world for him, though many discovered it to be made of oaths and walking sticks.

He had rid himself of the red sickness of battle. The sultry nightmare was in the past. He had been an animal blistered and sweating in the heat and pain of war. He turned now with a lover's thirst to images of tranquil skies, fresh meadows, cool brooks, an existence of soft and eternal peace.

Over the river a golden ray of sun came through the hosts of leaden rain clouds. Although Crane once wrote in a letter, "You can tell nothing Nevertheless, the realistic portrayal of the battlefield in The Red Badge of Courage has often misled readers into thinking that Crane despite being born six years after the end of the Civil War was himself a veteran. While trying to explain his ability to write about battle realistically, Crane stated: "Of course, I have never been in a battle, but I believe that I got my sense of the rage of conflict on the football field, or else fighting is a hereditary instinct, and I wrote intuitively; for the Cranes were a family of fighters in the old days".

Crane drew from a variety of sources in order to realistically depict battle. Century 's "Battles and Leaders" series served as direct inspiration for the novel, and one story in particular Warren Lee Goss's "Recollections of a Private" contains many parallels to Crane's work. This anecdote, however, has not been substantiated.

Eby, Jr. Details concerning specific campaigns during the war, especially regarding battle formations and actions during the Battle of Chancellorsville , have been noted by critics. It is believed that Crane listened to war stories in the town square of Port Jervis, New York where his family at times resided [28] told by members of the th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment , commonly known as the Orange Blossoms.


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The Red Badge of Courage , Chapter one [33]. The Red Badge of Courage has a distinctive style, which is often described as naturalistic , realistic , impressionistic or a mixture of the three. The Red Badge of Courage is notable in its vivid descriptions and well-cadenced prose, both of which help create suspense within the story. Blue and gray uniforms are mentioned, as are yellow and orange sunlight, and green forests, while men's faces grow red with rage or courage, and gray with death.

For example, the novel begins by portraying the army as a living entity that is "stretched out on the hills, resting. While the novel takes place during a series of battles, The Red Badge of Courage is not a traditional Civil War narrative. Focusing on the complex internal struggle of its main character, rather than on the war itself, [9] Crane's novel often divides readers as to whether the story is intended to be either for or against war. Writing more than thirty years after the novel's debut, author Joseph Conrad agreed that the novel's main struggle was internal rather than external, and that Fleming "stands before the unknown.

He would like to prove to himself by some reasoning process that he will not 'run from the battle'.

And in his unblooded regiment he can find no help. He is alone with the problem of courage. The reader is right down in the midst of it where patriotism is dissolved into its elements and where only a dozen men can be seen, firing blindly and grotesquely into the smoke. This is war from a new point of view.

The Red Badge of Courage , Chapter nine [40]. With its heavy use of irony , symbolism and metaphor , the novel also lends itself to less straightforward readings. The wound he does receive from the rifle butt of a fleeing Union soldier , however, is not a badge of courage but a badge of shame. By substituting epithets for characters' names "the youth", "the tattered soldier" , Crane injects an allegorical quality into his work, making his characters point to a specific characteristic of man.

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Beginning with Robert W. Stallman's Crane biography, several critics have explored the novel in terms of Christian allegory. Still others read the novel as having a Naturalist structure, comparing the work to those by Theodore Dreiser , Frank Norris and Jack London. As the title of the work suggests, the main theme of the novel deals with Henry Fleming's attempt to prove himself a worthy soldier by earning his "red badge of courage".

The first twelve chapters, until he receives his accidental wound, expose his cowardice. The following chapters detail his growth and apparently resulting heroism. Finding solace in existential thoughts, he internally fights to make sense of the senseless world in which he finds himself. When he seems to come to terms with his situation, he is yet again forced into the fears of battle, which threaten to strip him of his enlightened identity. However, the text is ambiguous, making it questionable that Henry ever matures.

It says there is no answer to the questions it raises; yet it says the opposite It says that Henry Fleming finally sees things as they are; it says he is a deluded fool. It says that Henry does not see things as they are; but no one else does either. Although Henry "progresses upwards toward manhood and moral triumph", as he begins to mature by taking leave of his previous "romantic notions," "the education of the hero ends as it began: in self deception. Dillingham also noted the novel's heroism paradox, especially in terms of the introspective Henry's lapse into unreasoning self-abandon in the second half of the book.

Dillingham stated that "in order to be courageous, a man in time of physical strife must abandon the highest of his human facilities, reason and imagination, and act instinctively, even animalistically. The indifference of the natural world is a reoccurring theme in Crane's work. This landscape gave him assurance.

A fair field holding life. It was the religion of peace. It would die if its timid eyes were compelled to see blood He threw a pine cone at a jovial squirrel, and he ran with chattering fear. High in a treetop he stopped, and, poking his head cautiously from behind a branch, looked down with an air of trepidation.

The youth felt triumphant at this exhibition. There was the law, he said. Nature had given him a sign. The squirrel, immediately upon recognizing danger, had taken to his legs without ado. He did not stand stolidly baring his furry belly to the missile, and die with an upward glance at the sympathetic heavens. On the contrary, he had fled as fast as his legs could carry him. The Red Badge of Courage received generally positive reviews from critics on its initial publication; in particular, it was said to be a remarkably modern and original work.

Wells , a friend of the author, later wrote that the novel was greeted by an "orgy of praise" in England and the United States. The novel, however, did have its initial detractors. Some critics found Crane's young age and inexperience troubling, rather than impressive.

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For example, one reviewer wrote, "As Mr. Crane is too young a man to write from experience, the frightful details of his book must be the outcome of a very feverish imagination. McClurg , a brigadier general who served through the Chickamauga and Chattanooga campaigns, wrote a lengthy letter to The Dial which his publishing company owned in April , lambasting the novel as "a vicious satire upon American soldiers and American armies.

While it eventually became a bestseller in the United States, The Red Badge of Courage was more popular and sold more rapidly in England when it was published in late I am proud of this simply because the remoter people would seem more just and harder to win. But it has no fellows. It is a book outside of all classification. So unlike anything else is it that the temptation rises to deny that it is a book at all". Crane himself later wrote about the novel: "I don't think The Red Badge to be any great shakes but then the very theme of it gives it an intensity that the writer cant [ sic ] reach every day.

Since the resurgence of Crane's popularity in the s, The Red Badge of Courage has been deemed a major American text, and Crane's most important work. In the introduction, Hemingway wrote that the novel "is one of the finest books of our literature, and I include it entire because it is all as much of a piece as a great poem is. Stallman's introduction to the Modern Library 's edition of The Red Badge of Courage contained one of the first modern assessments of the novel. The novel has been adapted several times for the screen. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In despair, he declared that he was not like those others.

He now conceded it to be impossible that he should ever become a hero. He was a craven loon. Those pictures of glory were piteous things. He groaned from his heart and went staggering off. A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army's feet; and at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distant hills.

At times he regarded the wounded soldiers in an envious way. He conceived persons with torn bodies to be peculiarly happy. He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage. Beer's biography continues to be used as a credible source, although it is understood by most critics and historians to contain many fictional elements. Wertheim , p. Retrieved on April 11, Retrieved on April 18, Bloom, Harold New York: Chelsea House Publishers. New York: Infobase Publishing.

Crane, Stephen The Red Badge of Courage. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Davis, Linda H. New York: Mifflin. Dillingham, William B.

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At one point in my romance writing career, I was publishing a new book every seven to ten days. Knowing your characters intimately will make it much easier to write about them. If you have a concrete idea about who they are as human beings, what motivates them, what their secrets are, what their wants, needs and desires are driven by —the dialogue will flow easier and quicker. In my romance writing ecourse , I give you a character profile template.

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