The Red Badge of Courage

Why does Henry respond as he does to the enemy’s second attack? How does he attempt to rationalize his behavior?


Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Henry can't believe the enemy is attacking again because they had just finished their first attack. Henry is not used to war or attacks in the first place. The battle starts again as the Union troops open fire on the field. Henry begins to quiver. He feels numb and is convinced that his foes are machines of steel. He stops firing to peer through the smoke. All he can see is faint views of the ground, covered with men running like imps and yelling. He waits horrified, feeling as if he could shut his eyes and be eaten. Henry recoils in horror upon hearing that his regiment is victorious. He looks in the direction of the battle and sees a yellow fog along the treetops. He feels wronged. He fled, he tells himself, because annihilation was approaching. As a little piece of the army, he did a good job in saving himself. He thinks his actions to be wise, given the situation.