The Red Badge of Courage

Military Romanticism in The Red Badge of Courage 10th Grade

The Red Badge of Courage is a novel written by Stephen Crane which explores a youth's struggles in his first experiences with war. Prior to the novel’s beginning, Henry Fleming, a teenage boy raised on a farm, enlists to go to war despite his lack of knowledge on the subject aside from glamorized tales. During Henry’s trip to the military camp, a number of his peers, especially maidenly girls, extol him for his enlisting. However, this period of praise and glorification only lasts a short time before Henry is thrown into the monotonous daily grind of military training. At the camp, Henry finds himself losing sight of his ideal expectations of the glory of war. This loss of beliefs Henry experiences only further progresses as he begins to learn the personalities of his fellow soldiers, who he thinks the majority of to be much less intelligent and noble than he had initially expected. After Henry’s regiment wins a minor battle, they find themselves under attack by the enemy, causing Henry to break his vow to himself and run away out of fear. During his short time away from the regiment, he wanders through the woods and finds a sense of calmness. Henry’s tranquility is broken when he stumbles upon a decaying corpse of a soldier,...

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