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The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage (1895)

by Stephen Crane

Other authors: Lincoln Davis (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (99)  Spanish (3)  French (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
This short novel recounts a young farm boy's first battle as a Union soldier and his internal struggles with cowardice. Scholars believe the action is meant to take place at Chancellorsville.

Henry Fleming enlists against his mother's wishes. Like many naive youngsters, he thinks battle will be glorious, but instead his group is kept in camp for a lengthy period, bored and uninformed of what is planned for them. When they are finally called to action, he sees little purpose to what they do against a seemingly invincible enemy, and he runs away from the battle. Later in the day he makes his way back to try to find a way to feel good about himself.

I found the book generally unsatisfying. Henry's internal monologue taken as a whole is thought-provoking, but it's difficult to relate to his reasoning and actions. This may be because I have no experiences by which to judge his, but I think it goes deeper. Henry's not particularly likable (and apparently wasn't to Crane, either). There's something in his manner and speech (and in those of his fellow soldiers), that made me think of the three escaped prisoners in the movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" In other words, bumbling and not-too-bright fools. However, many people thought it was so spot-on that he must have been at war himself, so the book obviously resonated with many at the time it was published. ( )
  auntmarge64 | Feb 15, 2019 |
What just happened?! I literally have no clue what the main theme of this was supposed to be about. I thought it was supposed to be courage and standing strong, and while that is in this story, most of the book seemed clouded and confused by the main character's thoughts.
Oh. He himself was an awful person. He's one of those self-satisfied people who, if they do one thing right, are hopelessly balloon headed about it, and doesn't care about other people. I wanted to punch him through most of this book.
Overall thoughts: confused narrative (that may be a purposeful thing, since the book is narrated in the limited omniscient, so everything we know is what the idiot of a main character knows), poorly explained battle scenes (once again, may be on purpose, but I hope not!), but an interesting premise. ( )
  kat_the_bookcat | Feb 7, 2019 |
Writing: 4.5; Crane offers some very good writing in this volume; very descriptive and informative, brings the book to life.
Theme: 5.0; a Civil War recruit named Henry Fleming fights alongside his regiment in a series of battles as his adventures are recounted, with him constantly battling his emotions, at once finding himself being a coward who suffers his only injury by trying to run away, at other times revealing his true heroism and patriotism.
Content: 4.5; a few descriptions of violent engagements and bloody after-effects, but nothing too bad.
Language: 2.0; there are, unfortunately, about thirty uses of vulgarity in this book (mostly of the h--- and d--- variety, with I believe one of a-- thrown in as well); God's name was also used in vain once, but it appeared to be an appropriate use.

Ranked among some of the best literary classics, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane is the tale of a patriotic soldier fighting in the Civil War, looking for a life of heroism and epic adventures. Henry Fleming -- named throughout as "the youth" -- enlists in the Union army despite his mother's wishes against him doing so. From there, Fleming joins up with a regiment led by a hot-headed lieutenant that consists of a few familiar faces from his hometown, including "the tall soldier" (Jim Conklin), "the loud soldier" and later "the youth's friend" (Wilson), and "the tattered soldier," a man who has found himself injured while doing battle. Their adventures are recounted here, at times having comedy, war, and sad genres thrown in (one instance even has a flair of horror it seems). Crane is able to perfectly relate the story to the reader, with descriptive language that shows clearly what is happening, placing you right in the midst of the action. This book seems to translate the realities of the Civil War, as it was written in the 1800s, although the main flaw (and it's a big one) is the usage of language: about thirty instances of cursing were found within. This is the only real glaring problem with this book. Beyond that, it is a fantastic read that you'd do well to partake in, as long as you keep this problem in mind. ***November 7, 2018*** ( )
  DarthTindalus | Nov 13, 2018 |
During an unnamed battle, 18-year-old private Henry Fleming survives what he considers to be a lost cause by escaping into a nearby wood, deserting his battalion. He finds a group of injured men in which one of the group, the "Tattered Soldier", asks Henry, who's often referred to as "The Youth", where he's wounded.

Henry, embarrassed that he's whole, wanders thru the forest. He ultimately decides that running was the best thing, & that he's a small part of the army responsible for saving himself. When he learns that his battalion had won the battle, Henry feels guilty.

As a result, he returns to his battalion & is injured when a cannon operator hits him in the head because he wouldn't let go of his arm. When he returns to camp, the other soldiers believe he was harmed by a bullet grazing him in battle.

The next morning he goes into battle for a 3rd time. While looking for a stream from which to attain water, he discovers from the commanding officer that his regiment has a lackluster reputation. The officer speaks casually about sacrificing Henry's regiment because they're nothing more than "mule drivers" & "mud diggers".

With no regiments to spare, the general orders his men forward. In the final battle, Henry becomes one of the best fighters in his battalion as well as the flag bearer, finally proving his courage as a man.
  JESGalway | Oct 8, 2018 |
Having read the book for myself, I can understand both those who loved it and those who hated it. I actually read The Red Badge of Courage with a group of friends, which I think really spiced up the reading experience for me and made me enjoy the book tremendously. Had I not read with a group, I'm not sure what my overall feelings would be concerning the novel but I believe I still would have liked it.

In truth, the novel can be very boring at times. It will drone on and on with absolutely nothing happening, nearly putting the reader to sleep. However, as boring as this may be to read, it really is a realistic depiction of war. Its almost as if half the story the novel depicts is not just told by the collection of ink and pages but rather the experience (sometimes boring, sometimes exciting) the story involuntarily invokes. Its like the reader can experience the waiting game the soldiers partake in before the break of battle. Perhaps I'm the only one who found it this way, but even so, I believe its interesting. So while it was boring sometimes, it had its purposes. ( )
1 vote spellbindingstories | May 24, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (60 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Crane, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, LincolnEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berryman, JohnContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binder, HenryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bottino, PatNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bowers, FredsonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, MalcolmEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Canga, C.B.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Covici Jr., PascalIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cummings, SherwoodIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davray, Henry-D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dressler, RogerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engene, GeneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foote, ShelbyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, Donald B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, FrankEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haldeman, JoeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harad, AlyssaSupplementary materialsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heald, AnthonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herzberg, Max J.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Homer, WinslowIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jenseth, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazin, AlfredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidder, HarveyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LaRocca, Charles J.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levenson, J.C.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levy, Wilbert J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maxwell, John AllanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minor, WendellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Misiego, MicaelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mozley, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Otero, BenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paysac, Henry dePréfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkins, Patricia BarrettForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pratt, SeanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reichardt, Mary R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanders, CharlesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sorrentino, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stallman, Robert W.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Doren, CarlIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vedro, Alfred S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viélé-Griffin, FrancisTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watson, Aldren AuldIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This work should not be combined with either the book by Stephen Crane or with film adaptations based on that book. If you have a copy of this work, please consider supplying the author's name (if it is a book) or the director's name (if it is a film adaptation).
ISBN 0812504798 is a Tor edition of The Red Badge of Courage.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553210114, Paperback)

Long considered the first great modern novel of war by an American author, this classic work is set in the time of the Civil War and tells a powerful, psychological story of a young soldier's struggle with the horrors--both within and without the war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:36 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In the spring of 1863, while engaged in the fierce battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia, a young Union soldier matures to manhood and finds peace of mind as he comes to grips with his conflicting emotions about war.

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