Symbolism In The Red Badge Of Courage

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Red Badge of Courage Before the war Henry has romanticized ideas of glory and courage but when he nears war his courage falters and he tries to validation of his fear in his peers. When confronted with violence Henry is like a machine fighting off the enemy. This courage Henry had to stand his ground and fight disappeared at the second battle and Henry fled during the battle. The Red Badge of Courage follows Henry’s changing ideas of courage until he finds a lasting form of it. Henry search for courage leads searching for answers in his peers, through his imagination, and the dead bodies he comes across. At the beginning of the novel Henry has his idea of war and he believes that if he goes to war he will gain glory. Henry never questions…show more content…
“A lad whose face had borne an expression of exalted courage…was, at an instant, smitten abject…he saw the fleeting forms…Directly he began to speed toward the rear in great leaps.” (Crane 75-76). During his second battle Henry was tired and unlike the first battle he did not fall into the “battle sleep” where the fighting became automatic for him. Instead Henry was afraid and since he had not yet found courage he saw the other soldiers fleeing and so he fled himself. At first Henry believed that to obtain courage you needed to be wounded and after he fled without a wound he believed everybody would see him for the coward he was. “He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage” (Crane 100). So Henry searches to try and get his “red badge of courage” that to him would prove that he has courage. Through the start of the novel Henry already has multiple changes of his idea of courage. From the start where he believed that he would obtain courage through battle to him trying to find courage through the dead he comes across as well as his fellow soldiers. To Henry believing that he needed a wound to show that he has
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