Henry Fleming is primed to prove his patriotism and to earn that “red badge of courage.”
Bored with farm life, and anxious for some excitement, Henry Fleming sets off to join the Union troops fighting the Civil War. An inexperienced fighter, he is anxious to get into battle to prove his worth. He swaggers to keep up his spirits waiting for battle, but when suddenly thrust into the slaughter, he is overcome with blind fear and runs from the field of battle.
He is ashamed when he joins the wounded, for he has not earned their "red badge of courage" and becomes enraged when he witnesses the death of his terribly maimed friend. In a confused struggle with his own army’s retreating soldiers, he is wounded but not by enemy gunfire. In an effort to redeem himself in his own eyes, he begins to fight frantically and, in the heat of battle, automatically seizes the regiment’s colors in a daring charge that proves him truly courageous.
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The Red Badge of Courage was published in 1895, when its author, an impoverished writer living a bohemian life in New York, was only twenty-three. It immediately became a bestseller, and Stephen Crane became famous. Crane set out to create "a psychological portrayal of fear." Henry Fleming, a Union Army volunteer in the Civil War, thinks "that perhaps in a battle he might run....As far as war was concerned he knew nothing of himself." And he does run in his first battle, full of fear and then remorse. He encounters a grotesquely rotting corpse propped against a tree, and a column of wounded men, one of whom is a friend who dies horribly in front of him. Fleming receives his own "red badge" when a fellow soldier hits him in the head with a gun. "The idea of falling like heroes on ceremonial battlefields," Ford Madox Ford remarked later, "was gone forever." Shelby Foote, author of The Civil
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Book Description Kidsbooks, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1561568783
Book Description Kidsbooks, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1561568783