The Red Badge of Courage


what happens to jim conklin and how does henery react? in chapter 8

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Jim (the tall soldier) is shot during the battle. Henry tries to help him along the way. The other soldiers are preoccupied in their own wounds. Suddenly, along their march, the tall soldier is overcome by terror. His face turns into a "gray paste." Jim then tells Henry he is afraid of being overrun by an artillery wagon as it speeds down the road. Henry swears to his friend that he will take care of him.

Jim, however, forgets those fears and goes forward steadily. He keeps repeating "leave me be –leave me be –" Henry follows him, knowing he must lead Jim out of the road because a battery of cannons threatens to run them over.

Henry directs Jim to the fields. He turns to watch the guns go by, then hears a cry from the tattered soldier that Jim is running. Henry turns to see his friend running clumsily through the field. The youth and the tattered soldier pursue him. They catch up to him, and Henry implores Jim to stop moving and rest. Jim can only repeat to leave him alone. He lurches forward, with Henry and the tattered soldier following slowly.

Then Jim pauses. His chest heaves. Jim still insists Henry should leave him alone. There is another silence. Then Jim stiffens. His legs shake and his arms flail slightly. He stretches upward and then falls to the ground, dead. Henry watches this display in horror and sadness. He rushes up to Jim, whose mouth is frozen open, blue-lipped, in a smile. Henry turns towards the battlefield with rage, as if to deliver a speech. All he can say is "Hell" as the red sun sits on the horizon.