The Red Badge of Courage

Why does Henry wish he were dead in chapters 10-13?


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Henry points in a direction and says, "over there." The tattered man sputters after him, his sentences broken and stuttered. Henry simply walks away. As he goes he turns and sees the tattered man wandering about in the field helpless. At this moment, Henry wishes that he were dead. He believes that he envies the corpses that lay in the field and on the leaves of the forest. The questions of the man were like knife-stabs to the youth. He feels that he cannot keep his crimes concealed; one of these arrow-like questions that flew through the air is bound to hit him.