The Red Badge Of Courage Analysis

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Stephen Crane was unquestionably a literary prodigy. Few authors have so dramatically shaped literary fiction or American writing as Crane did in his tragically short lifetime. His uncanny, realistic writing style, depicted throughout his many novels, including Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and The Red Badge of Courage, as well as his many short stories, has led him to be commonly designated "the first modern American writer" ("Stephen Crane"). Because Crane was capable of masterfully utilizing his keen observations and imagination, he was not only a pioneer in American naturalism and realism, but his works are also still iconic in literature and history today. Six years after the Civil War had ended, Stephen Crane was born in November of…show more content…
Crane wrote The Red Badge of Courage in an effort to clear away the romantic misconceptions about war, and instead reveal the harsh truth of it: that war is "an immense and terrible machine" (The Red Badge of Courage 37). Even Crane 's environment in the story likewise shows no empathy to the plight of the novel 's protagonist: "the youth felt a flash of astonishment at…the sun gleamings on the trees and fields…Nature had gone tranquilly on with her golden process in the midst of so much devilment" (The Red Badge of Courage 56). The depiction of nature 's indifference in the novel also distinguished Crane from other writers and further marked him as a forerunner in American…show more content…
After the publication of The Red Badge of Courage on October 5th, 1895, Crane became an almost overnight celebrity, especially in Europe (Owens). Overall, the reception of the unique novel was largely positive. Due to its powerful imagery and the novel 's illumination into the gruesome reality of war, many readers were even adamant that only a soldier could have written something so accurate. Moreover, many veterans from the Civil War respected Crane 's frankness in capturing the emotions and scenes of actual combat. Harold Frederic, a journalist for The New York Times praised the story 's originality, saying, "The Red Badge impels the feeling that the actual truth about a battle has never been guessed before" (Merrill). However, not all the reactions were positive: some critics were disturbed by Crane 's young age, disapproved of his poor grammar, and found his gruesome imagery troubling, instead of impressive. The most negative and notorious criticism of the novel came from General Alexander McClurg, who bashed the novel as "a vicious satire upon American soldiers and American armies", further berating Crane 's work for his lack of patriotism (Owens). Ultimately, however, by the following year, Crane 's novel was in eighth place on the international bookseller 's list ("Critical Reception…"). Henceforward, Stephen Crane 's The Red Badge of Courage became one the most famous war novels of
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