In this book Stephen Crane wrote about war although he had never been in a war and he had never joined the army. He was only 24 when he wrote one of the most famous descriptions of battles during the Civil War in America. The title has a symbolic meaning. It stands for a wound.
CHARACTERS-The Red Badge of courage
Henry Fleming: He is from New York. He lives with mum on a farm and one day he decides to join the army. In the beginning Henry is very afraid, but when he gets wounded, everything changes. The author reveals his name later in the story. He fights for the Union.
Henry’s mum: she is a good person and she doesn’t want her son to join the army. She appears only in the beginning of the book.
Jim Conklin: he is Henry’s old friend and a very calm soldier. He dies in the war.
Wilson: he fights with Henry in the same division. At start he is very loud, but later Wilson becomes more confident.
“Tattered Man”: we don’t know his real name. He takes care of wounded men and he is very kind.
Bill Smithers: he didn’t want to fight so he pretended to be wounded, but the others found out.
Lt. Hasbrouck: he is a very brave man and a leader.
PLOT-The Red Badge of courage
Henry wants to join the army because he thinks that being a hero is great. His mum objects. At first Henry’s division doesn’t have any assignments. During the first battle, Henry gets scared and decides to run away. His division wins the battle so feels embarrassed.
Henry thinks about everything and he sees wounded soldiers. He also wants to be wounded. One of those soldiers is Jim who soon dies. During the retreat, Henry bumps into one soldier and gets injured. He lies about the injury and somehow becomes more confident. In the following battle, he fights really brave.
PART 1-The Red Badge of courage
The book starts with the scene of three soldiers arguing. We don’t know their names yet.
Then the writer writes about Henry.
Henry wants to be a hero and to join the army.
His mum is against that, she wants him to stay on a farm, but Henry leaves anyway.
At first Henry only sits around. There are no battles and he is disappointed because he can’t become a hero.