The Red Badge of Courage

Moral existence?

In the author's point of view, is it wrong for Henry to run from the battle? Is it wrong for him to abandon the tattered soldier? More broadly, does The Red Badge of Courage have a moral center, or does it deny that moral categories such as “right” and “wrong” can exist in an indifferent universe?

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Last updated by kevin b #92299
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I think you ask an excellent question. For Crane, the development of Henry as a character/individual is of paramount importance and his decisions are representative of his personal challenges and indecisions. having the novel set in a war makes the decision hold more moral weight and, therefore, they seem more stark. It is easy to have morals in a vacuum, but when faced with they reality of death, choices are often made that cannot be simply placed into the normal dichotomy of right vs. wrong.