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The Red Badge of Courage Historical Context

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Historical Context

Memoirs of the Civil War

The war literature of the Civil War era glorified heroism and the courage of soldiers on both sides of the war. The numerous memoirs of war veterans influenced Crane, who had a lifelong obsession with war. He drew upon the common pattern of these chronicles for the major plot elements in The Red Badge of Courage: the sentimental expectation of the young recruit moved to enlist by patriotic rhetoric and heroic fantasies of war; the resistance of his parents to his enlistment; his anxiety over the apparent confusion and purposelessness of troop movements; his doubts about his personal courage; the dissipation of his heroic illusions in the first battle; his grumbling about the incompetency of generals; and other such motifs, incidents, and situations.

The editors of Century Magazine published Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, one of Crane's primary sources in writing...

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This section contains 975 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Red Badge of Courage Study Guide
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The Red Badge of Courage from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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