The Red Badge of Courage Essay

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In the following excerpt, Breslin explains how Henry, though he at first flees from battle, matures into a soldier able to accept the "inevitability of death."

The Red Badge of Courage is a familiar book, and its genre is in part familiar as well—the tale of initiation, the adventure story. Crane himself meant it to be a popular novel, a potboiler to bring in money while he worked on more serious projects. But the novel does differ, almost startlingly, from other treatments of the Civil War in the same period, not so much by what it includes as by what it leaves out. The most striking feature of The Red Badge of Courage is the absence of any social context in which the fighting takes place. One could almost say that Crane writes of war in the abstract. Such a treatment is sometimes met with in twentieth-century...

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This section contains 2,737 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Red Badge of Courage Study Guide
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