The Red Badge Of Courage Essay

The Red Badge Of Courage Term paper

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The Red Badge Of Courage The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane outlines the effects of war on a Union soldier, Henry Fleming, from his dreams of being a soldier, to his enlistment, and through several battles of the Civil War. Henry Fleming was not happy with his boring life on the farm. He wanted to become a hero in war and have girls loving him for his big achievements in battle. He knew his mother would not like to see him go to war, but it was his decision to make. He dreamed of the exiting battles of war and the thrill of fighting magnificent battles. He didn't want to stay on the farm with nothing to do, so he made the final decision to enlist. After enlisting he finds himself just sitting around with nothing to do. He manages to make friends with two other soldiers, John Wilson and Jim Conklin. Wilson was as exited about going to war like Henry, while Jim was positive about the success of the new regiment. Henry started to realize after a few days of marching, that their regiment was just wandering pointlessly, and going in circles. They kept marching on without fighting. During time Henry started to think about the battles in a different way, he started to become afraid that he might run from battle when duty calls. When the regiment finally learns of a battle taking place, Jim gives Henry a little packet in a yellow envelope, telling Henry that this will be his first and last battle. The regiment managed to hold off the rebels for the first charge, but then the rebels came back driving the regiment back. One man started to flee, then another, and another still. Henry was scared, confused, and in a daze as he saw his army losing. He finally got up and started running away from the enemy. Henry started to think about his behavior after running away. At first he feels he was a stupid coward for running but he feels he was just saving himself for later. He didn't want to die, even though his side is losing. He believes he was smart for running and hopes he will die in battle just for spite. When Henry met Jim, he also met a tattered man. In the next charge, Henry and the tattered man see Jim die a slow, and painful death. After Jim's death, and a little talking, Henry, not realizing it, leaves the tattered man alone on the battlefield, hurting inside, and dangerous to himself. In the charge ahead, Henry starts asking the soldiers why they are running. He grabbed a comrade by the arm and asked the man "why" not letting go of the mans arm, so the man hit Henry over the head with the butt of his rifle giving Henry his first Red Badge of Courage. Dazed, Henry stumbles around the battlefield struggling to stay on his feet, until a cheery man came to help Henry to get back to his regiment. At his regiment he faced Wilson and has his wound on his head attended to. After a quick rest he again gets back into battle. After the regiment lost that battle, the generals made the regiment march again. Henry felt the generals were a lot of "lunkheads" for making them retreat instead of confronting the enemy. Henry begins to feel that he and Wilson are going to die, but goes to battle anyway. In battle, Henry began to make a mix of rage and exhaustion. He had a wild hate for the persistent enemy. He was not going to be taken of his life. He felt that he and his companions were being taunted and ridiculed with convictions that they were poor and puny. In yet another battle, when Henry and Wilson got a chance to carry their flag, they fight over who will hang on to the flag? Wilson got the regiment flag, though later in battle Henry manages to get hold of the rebel flag. And from there runs to the front of the line with the Lieutenant leading the way. In battle he fought like a "Major General". Though he did regret leaving the tattered man alone on the battlefield he has grown-up and is not afraid of dying anymore.

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