Character Analysis: The Red Badge Of Courage

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What Others See The Red Badge of Courage is a novel that goes in to the mind and life of a teenage boy, and scrutinizes his actions during the Civil War. The teenage boy, Henry Fleming, is clouded by his fantasies of becoming a war hero and receiving the glory. Henry enters the Civil War as boy, but through a series of battles and events his character evolves and matures. His façade quickly fades away in his journey through war and interactions with others. Out of the many transformations Henry goes through, he changes the most from altering his childish ways to become more of an adult. Henry has the protagonist role in this novel as he progresses, and matures transforming into a round character full of change. In the Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane examines how peer evaluation and their perception of reputation effects an individual to act differently and formulate them into a different person. Also through this process, Crane parallels Henry’s focus of his…show more content…
Wilson’s arrogant attitude and outbursts at the beginning of the novel causes Henry to contemplate upon what his actions in battle could be. Once in battle Wilson hands Henry an envelope that he wants delivered to his family, since he believes that his death will be certain. The problem initiates when Wilson returns from battle and asks for it back. Wilson comes back a changed man, a more courageous man, and a man who does not care what others think. Crane in this novel proposes that the meaning of a man is to be one who does not care about the superfluous qualities in life, but rather one who is true to himself and his morals. Arbitrarily, “The warm comfort of [Wilson’s] blanket…” confuses Henry because the “loud soldier” has now become a caring and giving man (104). The envelope symbolizes a change in Wilson, and an opening of the concept of maturing to
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