Red Badge of Courage, The. the Originals. PDF ePub eBook

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Red Badge of Courage, The. the Originals. free pdf ""The Red Badge of Courage,"" written in 1895 by Stephen Crane (1871-1900), is considered by many literary critics to be one of the greatest of all American novels. This is a book about the Civil War, and one Union soldier's struggle with his inner demons as he prepares for, and fights his first battle. Although the story Crane tells is deceptively simple, it reveals, better than any other novel I've read, the full horror of war, and the complexity and unpredictability of human behavior in the crucible of battle. Henry Fleming (always referred to by Crane as ""the youth"") is a young northerner who, despite his mother's objections, enlists in the Union army with great patriotic fervor. As he awaits his first battle, the youth ponders how he will react: will he stand and fight, or will he flee? The answer comes soon enough. His regiment is attacked by the Confederates- at first the youth stays to fight, but, during a second attack, he watches other soldiers run away from battle in a state of panic. He himself is overcome by fear, and he too flees. The youth finally reaches a state of exhaustion and stops running. Immediately, his conscience begins to gnaw at him. He hears rumors that his regiment has actually stood and won the day against its foe. His thoughts and emotions begin to run the gamut from rationalization, to self-loathing, to fear of being discovered a coward. He continually looks for ways to justify his flight. The youth hears the continuing sound of battle in the distance, and is drawn to it, almost as a moth to a flame- he decides to return to his regiment, but loses his way. As he tries to find his way back to his regiment, he is confronted by people who serve to prick his conscience even further. He witnesses the horrible death of Jim Conklin, one of his friends from his regiment. While walking with a group of wounded soldiers, he is asked by one tattered and probably insane soldier what the nature of his wounds are. Shamed by this inquisition, he runs away, afraid he'll be uncovered as the poltroon he is beginning to believe himself to be. He begins to wish for a ""red badge of courage"" - a wound - which would signify his bravery in battle. He gets his wish in a roundabout way when he attempts to ask another soldier for directions. He gets into a scuffle and is cut on the head with the soldier's rifle. This becomes his ""red badge"" when he finally makes it back to his unit- he lies to his comrades-in-arms, saying he received the wound as a result of being shot in the heat of battle. Crane's writing is excellent on most levels. His descriptions of the insane violence of battle is graphically intense, and of reasonable historical accuracy. The one noticeable weakness in Crane's style is his dialogue. Although it is raw and gritty, it is also somewhat unrealistic- all his characters sound like they have southern accents, even though they are supposed to be from New York and other northern states. Still, the dialogue is effective in conveying the essential truth of who did most of the fighting on both sides during the Civil War: tough, profane, and often poor and uneducated men, many who did not know of, or care about, the causes for which they fought and sometimes died. ""The Red Badge of Courage"" is indeed a timeless masterpiece of American fiction. It is easy to understand why it ranks alongside such great American novels as Harriet Beecher Stowe's ""Uncle Tom's Cabin,"" John Steinbeck's ""The Grapes of Wrath,"" and ""To Kill a Mockingbird,"" by Harper Lee. ""The Red Badge of Courage"" is a book to be read and savored!

About Stephen Crane

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Details Book

Author : Stephen Crane
Publisher : Hayes Barton Press
Data Published : 01 January 2007
ISBN : 1281723223
EAN : 9781281723222
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 123 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
Rating :

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