The Red Badge Of Courage Critical Analysis

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Stephen Crane’s presentation of war in The Red Badge of Courage was a revolutionary breakthrough marking a turning point in the way war novels were written. Before The Red Badge of Courage, traditional war narratives were, for the majority, written detached from the reader and devoid of emotion, with a primary purpose to just state strategic war principles. Despite their brilliance, the average reader could not really understand them without having a military background. By writing The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane introduced the first modern war novel with a changed style of writing that portrayed war in a way in which the common reader could easily relate; he tries to render the lives of soldiers and battles realistically by focusing…show more content…
The setting of the novel takes place during a number of skirmishes in a battle of the American Civil War, 1861-1865. Commonly assumed to be the “Battle of Chancellorsville,” May 1-3, 1863, no dates or geographical place names are mentioned in the novel, leaving it impossible to locate on a map or tell the strategic significance of the actions taken. Stephen Crane, having had no prior battle experience, wrote this novel several years after the end of the Civil War, publishing it in 1895, 30 years after the American Civil War’s end, before the battles had received any names. I chose this book because it is genuine American masterpiece and classic that delves into the crux of trials and tribulations of war. It provides significant insights into the nature of heroism and cowardice and how one man can cope with the situations and develop and approach to overcome his fears in battle to become a man. The Red Badge of Courage supports my thesis because as Crane portrays the main character, Henry Fleming, developing an approach to bravery, throughout the novel, Crane relates the progression to fundamental principles outlined in Sun-Tzu’s Art of War, showing how a new war novel, even though in a different style of writing, still encompasses traits from a traditional military work far more

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