Naturalism In Stephen Crane's The Red Badge Of Courage

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“He had been to touch the great death, and found that, after all, it was but the great death. He was a man,” (Crane, 149). Stephen Crane’s novel, The Red Badge of Courage, ends with a declaration of Henry Fleming 's transformation into a man of honor and courage—qualities that Henry now sees quite differently from when he was an inexperienced soldier. He now acknowledges that they do not require him to return home “on his shield.” He no longer feels the need for “a red badge of courage” to mark his prowess in battle. His romantic notions of war were crushed by the chilling realities that were rarely seen or talked about up to this point in American history and literature. In this novel, Crane allows the reader to experience the first hand development of the young Henry Fleming as his childish and romantic notions of war are violently shattered by the realism and naturalism that war truly portrays and the reality of nature’s disregard for human life.
To start with, the novel introduces us to Henry’s romantic ideas about war, “He had long despaired of witnessing a Greeklike struggle,” (Crane, 3). He initially thinks of war as glorious and grandiose. He expects nothing less than a hero’s send-off from his mother: tears, screaming, begging him not to go, but that just
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A perfect example of this is the popularity that Stephen Crane’s novel, The Red Badge of Courage, received when it was released. He wrote one of the first tellings of the horrors of war in a realistic way, as opposed to the romantic approach taken by authors in the past. He went even a step further by writing a young soldier forced to come to terms with his misconceptions about war. Henry was not actually courageous, to begin with, which is most likely why he had such fears about running away from battle. This, however, is not a weakness really. It simply shows that Henry is a regular person. He has fears and faults which is indicative of
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