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Red Badge of Courage: Tracing Henrys maturity - Essay Example

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Name Tutor Task Date The Red Badge of Courage is such a sensitive novel whose plot is simply the Youth’s reaction towards brutality of war. The author, Stephen Crane artistically introduces Henry Fleming who is the main protagonist and develops the theme in a straightforward rising action…
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Red Badge of Courage: Tracing Henrys maturity
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Task The Red Badge of Courage is such a sensitive novel whose plot is simply the Youth’s reaction towards brutality of war. The author, Stephen Crane artistically introduces Henry Fleming who is the main protagonist and develops the theme in a straightforward rising action. The character of Henry develops from a cowardice youth afraid of war and reluctant to participate in war to a fulfilled brave soldier. The plot unfolds to give the reader of the background from which Henry got an injured hence receives a “war wound” that becomes his turning point. Henry feels companionship and comradeship among his fellow colleagues after his return to regiment. Consequently, Henry participates in battle willingly and eventually attains leadership of being the flag bearer of the regiment with which he is involved Stephen Crane (Studies in Literary Imagination). Henry Fleming is the main character of “The Red Badge of Courage” whom the novel features most. The author focuses on illustrating how the war has influenced Henry and consequently changed him. The youth is an emblematic American who is brought up in the nineteenth century. The setting of the novel depicts him being raised a rural farm in New York developing to appreciate the wonders provided by nature. Throughout his upbringing, Henry is taught to dream of the glories of war, to associate manhood with heroism and to be wholeheartedly patriotic. Pertaining the values, Henry acquired during his upbringing, he results in joining the Union Forces voluntarily during the onset of the Civil War. Although his mother sis opposed to the idea of Henry join the Union Forces, she eventually sends the young off after giving him a lot of motherly advice. Naturally, Henry is a sensitive person with an incredible, insightful temperament mind set (Stephen Crane 7). The first days in the army are lonely days for Henry. Henry Fleming becomes loner, with rarely interaction between him and other soldiers in his regiment. The young man isolates himself absolutely from the rest of the soldiers to figure out his home that he missed much. “The young man was feeling sorry for himself. He thought about his life at home.”(Stephen Crane 15). In addition, Henry thinks much about his adequacy in the army. Henry is initially cowardice leading him to imagine of the enemy to be an immense monster that had extraordinary powers. His imagination creates a picture that is extremely grotesque worse than the reality of war (Stephen Crane 26). Henry is not content about himself for fear that he would fail to achieve a heroic performance during the battle. Henry Fleming is an introspective character whose interior life is greatly influence by Greece literature he read about the ancient heroes from Greek. However, Henry experiences disssilusionment since there one who heroic in the army. The youth often imagines himself attaining a Homeric hero status through great military achievements. The pressure on Henry to achieve a great performance during the battle makes his everyday boredom in the military service to haunt him as well as, the indifference and cruelty of his fellow military officers Stephen Crane (Stephen Crane 29). During his first practical battle, Henry’s fear becomes a reality. The first encounter with the is characterized by a charge that scatters his regiment resulting in an absolute disorganization of is regiment. Henry is overwhelmed by his cowardice; Henry throws down his firearm on seeing other men leave the battlefront. Afterwards, Henry reproaches himself with grief of how he will ever find his regiment. His guilt of desertion worries him of being discovered as cowardice hence he becomes obsessed by fear. Henry resolves to join a procession of the wounded in order to protect his image for not doing something about the situation. Seeing the men who were injured during the battle makes Henry feel guiltier for fleeing. In an ironic twist, Henry also attains an injury although, not in the fighting. Henry is hit on the head with a riffle by a frightened soldier. This incident results in Henry attaining “the red badge of courage” which in disguise makes him feel better, and enough reason to rejoin the regiment (Stephen Crane 36). The members of the regiment warmly greet Henry to welcome him back. In fact, Wilson is notably a character who approves of Henry as opposed to the previous period. The soldiers of his regiment act kindly towards him to the extent of tending his wound. The consideration that Henry receives from other members of the regiment begins the change in him. The treatment that Henry receives from fellow soldiers gives him a sense of belonging as part of the regiment. The next battle that takes place depicts Henry as brave since he covers his fears by being argumentative and boasting. When the battle commences, Henry finds himself up into heavy fighting and charges the enemy to his level best. Henry’s performance during this battle serves as an encouragement to other soldiers in his regiment hence press them forward. Thus, Henry conquers his fear about fighting since his regiment emerges successful. Other soldiers admire Henry while the lieutenant showers him with words of praise. Finally, Henry seizes the flag marching forward without fear urging his comrades (Stephen Crane 48). Works Cited Stephen Crane, the red badge courage, New York, EDCON Publishing Group (2008). Print. Studies in Literary Imagination.article.ISSN 0039-3819.print American Literature; a Journal of Literary History, Criticism and Bibliography. article.ISSN 0002-9831.print Read More
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