The Loud Soldier In Stephen Crane's The Red Bad Of Courage

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Stephen Crane’s The Red Bad of Courage witnesses a dynamic transformation in the protagonist Henry Fleming, who is often referred to as “the youth” or “the young soldier” in the book. However, another major character, “the loud soldier”- Wilson, too, alongside Fleming, undergoes drastic changes in his attitude. Thus, Wilson’s role in the novel becomes irreplaceable: thanks to the author’s depiction of Wilson, Fleming’s growth in personality is displayed more evidently. Crane opens the book with a portrayal of Henry Fleming as a coward with great ambition, while Wilson is absolutely different as an enthusiastic private, and thus, enhancing “the youth”’s vain traits. Fleming has decided to enlist with a romanticized idea of death during the…show more content…
“He was no more a loud young soldier. […] He showed a quiet belief in his purposes and his abilities.”– Wilson as described by “the youth” himself (Chapter 14). He has taken care of Fleming when he learns about his friend’s wound, and demonstrates his devotion to the army, to his regiment, to his comrades. Furthermore, he has requested his friend to return the packet of letters, showing no interest in preserving his reputation. From one who was feigning confidence and was boastful, Wilson is now responsible, considerate, and modest. Fleming, on the other hand, though he does reflect on himself when seeing his friend’s change, he still wishes to maintain his pride. He feels “immensely superior” the moment he remembers Wilson’s packet of letters, and that “his self-pride was entirely restored.”; “[h]e had performed his mistakes in the dark, so he was still a man” (Chapter 15). Through the depiction of Wilson’s changes in contrast to Fleming’s remaining characteristics, the author has underscores how, in spite of moments of self-doubt and self-reflection, “the youth” still is naïve and egoistic, and therefore, his growth afterwards is more

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