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The Red Badge of Courage

Cover of The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage

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Bored with farm life, and anxious for some excitement, Henry Fleming sets off to join the Union troops fighting the Civil War. An inexperienced fighter, he is anxious to get into battle to prove his patriotism and courage. He swaggers to keep up his spirits waiting for battle, but when suddenly thrust into the slaughter he is overcome with blind fear and runs from the field of battle.

He is ashamed when he joins the wounded, for he has not earned their "red badge of courage" and becomes enraged when he witnesses the death of his terribly maimed friend. In a confused struggle with his own army's retreating soldiers, he is wounded but not by enemy gunfire. In an effort to redeem himself in his own eyes, he begins to fight frantically and, in the heat of battle, automatically seizes the regiment's colors in a daring charge that proves him truly courageous.

The unnamed battle in the novel has been identified as that as Chancellorsville. While considered one of the most compelling stories of warfare of all time, Stephen Crane had never seen a battle when he wrote The Red Badge of Courage in 1895.
Bored with farm life, and anxious for some excitement, Henry Fleming sets off to join the Union troops fighting the Civil War. An inexperienced fighter, he is anxious to get into battle to prove his patriotism and courage. He swaggers to keep up his spirits waiting for battle, but when suddenly thrust into the slaughter he is overcome with blind fear and runs from the field of battle.

He is ashamed when he joins the wounded, for he has not earned their "red badge of courage" and becomes enraged when he witnesses the death of his terribly maimed friend. In a confused struggle with his own army's retreating soldiers, he is wounded but not by enemy gunfire. In an effort to redeem himself in his own eyes, he begins to fight frantically and, in the heat of battle, automatically seizes the regiment's colors in a daring charge that proves him truly courageous.

The unnamed battle in the novel has been identified as that as Chancellorsville. While considered one of the most compelling stories of warfare of all time, Stephen Crane had never seen a battle when he wrote The Red Badge of Courage in 1895.
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About the Author-
  • Stephen Crane (1871 - 1900) was a war correspondent, novelist, short story writer and poet. He is the author of Maggie, The Red Badge of Courage, George's Mother and The Black Riders. Ernest Hemingway on The Red Badge of Courage: "One of the finest books of our literature...it is all as much of one piece as a great poem is."
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Among the classic war novels, THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE ranks with the best. Its setting is the Civil War; its hero of sorts is young recruit ("fresh fish") Henry Fleming; and its plot focuses on the boredom, fear, cowardice, and bravery that Henry faces as best he can, often more instinctively than intellectually. Reader Scott Brick is fine. He has a storyteller's interest in Henry and the other soldiers, particularly the tall soldier and the loud soldier who wield such an influence on Henry. Brick's best at the matter-of-fact leave-taking between the eager to fight Henry and his reluctant mother and, later, in the battle scenes, in which the tempo quickens. Stephen Crane would be pleased with this rendition of his enduring work. T.H. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine
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  • Publisher
    Brilliance Audio
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The Red Badge of Courage
The Red Badge of Courage
Stephen Crane
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