Background[ edit ] Stephen Crane in ; print of a portrait by artist and friend Corwin K. Linson Stephen Crane published his first novel, Maggie:
All the other characters in the book are there to serve Henry in some way, either by prompting him to action or reflection or by being a comparison or contrast to him. Crane devotes the entire space of the novel to showing how the war affects Henry and causes him to change.
The Youth is a typical young American brought up in the nineteenth century. Raised on a farm in rural New York, he is not afraid of hard work and appreciates the wonders of nature.
He has been taught to equate manhood with valor, to dream of the glories of warfare, and to be unthinkingly patriotic.
As a result, when the Civil War breaks out, he volunteers to join the Union forces. His mother hates that her son is going off to war, but accepts it as "God's will.
By nature, Henry has a very reflective temperament and a sharp, sensitive mind. In the army, he becomes an introspective loner, rarely interacting with the other soldiers. He isolates himself to think about home, which he misses greatly, and to ponder whether he will be adequate for battle.
His active mind imagines that the enemy is a huge monster with extraordinary powers, a picture that is much worse that the actuality. Because the Youth is established as introspective, Crane can explore the terrain of his interior world and look into his deepest thoughts.
Henry has been influenced by reading Homer and learning about the heroes of ancient Greece. He imagines himself as a Homeric hero, accomplishing great deeds. In the army, however, he sees no heroics around him; instead he is haunted by the everyday boredom of routine military life, the cruelty and indifference of his military officers, and his fears that he cannot live up to a brave performance in battle.
In his first real battle, the Youth's greatest fear comes true. At the first charge from the enemy, his regiment becomes scattered and disorganized. Seeing some other men leave the battlefront, Henry throws down his rifle and runs. The rest of the novel shows Henry's reaction to his guilt and shame over this desertion.
At first he worries about how he will ever find his regiment again and about his cowardice being discovered. He grows obsessed by fear.
Needing to do something to protect himself, he joins a procession of the wounded. This simply makes matters worse for several reasons. The men injured in the fighting make him feel guiltier than ever for fleeing.
When the Tattered Soldier asks him about his wound, it is almost more than he can bear. At this point in the novel, Henry would rather have an injury than almost anything else in the world.
Ironically, Henry soon receives a wound -- but not in battle.The Red Badge of Courage is a war novel by American author Stephen Crane (–). Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of ashio-midori.comme with shame, he longs for a wound, a "red badge of courage," to counteract his cowardice.
The Youth is a typical young American brought up in the nineteenth century. Raised on a farm in rural New York, he is not afraid of hard work and appreciates the wonders of nature. He has been taught to equate manhood with valor, to dream of the glories of warfare, and to be unthinkingly patriotic.
Henry Fleming ("The Youth") BACK; NEXT ; Character Analysis Henry’s Growth, Failures, Successes, and all around Transformation "The Youth" is obviously the main character of the book, and as such appears in every scene.
Henry's accidental head wound is not the red badge of courage that he longs to acquire; rather, it becomes a shield that he uses to protect the lies he has built around himself. Henry only begins to emerge from his shell of self-absorption and fear when he recognizes Wilson's weakness in giving him a bunch of letters to hold.
Also, find an example of personification in Chapter 2. ' and find homework help for other The Red Badge of Courage questions at eNotes eNotes Home Homework Help. The Red Badge of Courage is the narrative of two processes: the process by which a raw youth develops into a tried and trustworthy soldier, and the process by which a regiment that has never been under fire develops into a finished and formidable fighting machine.