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Red Badge Of Courage

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Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage is a novel that realistically portrays war along with the challenges and emotions that one experiences. The novel has a coming-of age theme; it centers around a youth named Henry Fleming and his journey to manhood. Henry is an ordinary farm boy that idolizes the idea of dying in battle upon his shield like in Homeric Greek traditions. His great desire to become a recognized hero brings forth a psychological conflict that is the main battle of the novel. He wishes to receive praises of envy from others, yet he is afraid to die. Henry's consideration of values is one that can't just be labeled simply as either cowardly or courageous, it's a mix of both. These values are throughout the book and represented in two passages.

One of the passage refers to his relief and desire to get away from the war. This ties in with the cowardice theme. Self-doubt played a big role before the first battle, he was afraid that he might not distinguish himself by how bravely he fights, but by how quickly he runs away. When the second battle approaches, he panics and runs away, overhearing that the enemy has been held back along the way. Henry then feels resentment towards those who didn't run and feels betrayed. To ease his guilt, he assures himself that any thinking man would have done the same thing.

The other passage on the last page of the book talks about how he was a man. Henry has matured by war and now sees things differently than he used to. He developed into a man of courage and honor, what he was trying to pursue in the first place. He'd " been to touch the great death" and found his true principals, the importance of things such as dreams, dignity, companionship, individualism, and courage. Henry no longer needs proof, like "the red badge of courage" to showcase his bravery.

I consider Henry to be heroic. Although Henry showed cowardice when running away



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