The Red Badge of Courage

do you believe that Henry had an obligation to help the tattered man?


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The Tattered man is wounded, friendly, and looking for conversation. He wants to talk about the battle he has been involved and wounded fighting. The men are marching (well, walking) away from the battlefield. There are many wounded men, a lot of silence, and a lot of comaraderie. The tattered man just wants some sense of companionship and someone to talk to him; maybe just to listen. Unfortunately, the man's presence, conversation, and discussion horrify Henry because Henry can't participate in the conversation. He had fled the battle; he had nothing to say, and the man's continued presence made Henry more and more uncomfortable with every passing moment. I think Henry is so stressed and agitated that he was not obliged to talk to the tattered man.