Red badge of courage essay
While we, as humans, all have a built-in survival instinct, we also see people doing courageous acts all the time. At the same time, his detachment from his own sense of courage shows a kind of maturity, or at least a willingness to question himself relatively impartially. Crane suggests exactly the opposite--Henry would be running from the Confederate danger, except that he's paralyzed with fear (a good example of the "flight or fight" reaction). " This sense of selflessness can be a good thing – like when feeling part of the human race will make you jump under a subway to save another man, or the way you care more about your team winning the game than you do about scoring that last point yourself. New York: Anchor Books, 1991. ). The Bachellor, Johnson, & Bachellor newspaper syndicate agreed to serialize the work in December 1894 and it soon appeared in the Philadelphia Press and other papers across the country. Instead, Henry believes that he can attain heroism by accepting his own place and developing a quiet strength within himself. It’s difficult to pick any one of these, but what they all seem to have in common is the sense of the individual belonging to a whole, to something bigger than just himself – a big focus of The Red Badge of Courage. He showed a quiet belief in his purposes and his abilities. Delirious with fear, Henry doesn't realize that he's firing his gun at all--as a result, Henry continues firing long after the enemy has retreated. Author Stephen Crane describes this loss of individuality as a key part of "the war machine. Henry has been firing his gun with great energy and intensity--he's in the midst how to write a medical thesis of a great battle, yet he's also in something like a trance state. There was about him now a fine reliance. The Tattered Man, we come to see, is an externalization of Henry's own guilty conscience. At first, Henry craved recognition from his fellow soldiers--he derived his self-worth from his peers' respect and admiration. Henry desperately wants to be perceived as a brave man by his fellow troops, but the Tattered Man's questions suggest that Henry is a long way from being celebrated for his bravery. The police man himself started going over the cliff as well, but would not let go of the young man to save himself (both were rescued by another police officer) (Source: Campbell, Joseph. The Red Badge of Courage is the story of young Henry Fleming trying to decide one very vital question: run away as a coward and escape death, or be an honorable soldier and rush headfirst into almost certain death in battle at the Civil War front lines. Wilson, overcome with enthusiasm for his fellow soldiers and his cause, doesn't stop to notice the dying soldier. To Henry's horror, the do we value only what we work for essay corpse is covered in ants, who walk all over the dead body with no respect for human dignity. He finds himself among the wounded, and they treat him as though he is wounded himself, which fills him with shame at his cowardice and desertion. Crane contrasts Wilson's savage exultation with the pain and misery of the dying flag-bearer. " red badge of courage essay The irony is that Henry has aspired to be recognized for his bravery--now that his dream has come true, he's too dissociated to enjoy it, and disappointed by how "easy" it was. He was being looked at by a dead man who was seated with his back against a columnlike tree. Fear of guilt? In this vivid passage, Henry faces the horrors of war once again. In this passage, Crane illustrates the shallowness of heroism. The eyes, staring at the youth, had changed to red badge of courage essay the dull hue to be seen on the side of a dead fish. The Red Badge of Courage focuses on the moral world of a young man in the Union Army, Henry Fleming. Henry's behavior might look like bravery to an outside observer, but in reality Henry is just as afraid as the troops that are running away. But gradually, Henry has come to think of heroism in a much different sense. Cogs in machines usually don’t think, and no thinking means no judgment or discretion as to whether an act is right or wrong. The passage is a great example of how Crane casts war as a character in its own right, independent of all political and ideological conflicts. He seemed no more to be continually regarding the proportions of his personal prowess. So it looks like there must be something that trumps survival instinct. By personifying war itself, Crane reiterates red badge of courage essay the point that war destroys both sides: for all the lofty ideals of the Union and Confederate troops, red badge of courage essay both sides will be equally devastated by the conflict. Henry has been brought up to believe in the timeless code of honor and heroism--to be a mature man, he believes, is to be willing to fight for one's country and sacrifice one's life when necessary. In encouraging soldiers to pursue glory and heroism, Crane suggests, war forces soldiers to surrender their natural sympathy for other human beings. He seems to have no respect for the soldier's humanity--after all, the soldier is his enemy, a faceless being he's been taught to hate. It is futile, he realizes, to pursue glory in battle--no single soldier can ever be more than a "drop in the bucket" of the war effort--there's no room for an Achilles or a Hector in the Civil War. Henry's analogy between himself how to write a questionnaire for dissertation and a chemical sample is unnerving because it suggests that Henry doesn't respect himself as a full human being: he's content to be a mere cog in the army, ordered around by research paper on capital punishment his superiors. Most important, though, is Crane's message that humans have choices to make between individual safety and what's best for group. Henry is still very much a young, immature man, but here he learns yet another lesson about the nature of courage and heroism. In the final chapter of the novel, Henry comes to terms with his own insignificance in the world. Ironically, Crane describes the the Tattered Man's questions in harsh, militaristic language ("knife thrusts," "arrows")--even though Henry has fled from the literal battle, he's entered into a metaphorical "battle" for recognition. The shallowness of phd thesis on library science Henry's heroism is overwhelmingly obvious--Henry didn't even realize that he was being heroic; he has to be told that he was acting like a "barbarian. But it can also be dangerous, as The buy here pay here business plan Red Badge of Courage reminds us. The corpse was dressed in a uniform that once had been blue, but was now faded to a melancholy book report on the help shade of green. We hear stories of heroes like Oskar Schindler, a German member of the Nazi party who worked to save Jews during WWII. One was trundling some sort of a bundle along the upper lip. In other words, you’d be hard-pressed to argue that Red Badge is irrelevant or even outdated. Is it love? At last, his conscience is clear, and his self-inflicted wound of red badge of courage essay cowardice has been healed. And let's not forget the famous situation in which a policeman risked his life by grabbing a hold of a young man intending to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff on Pali Road in Hawaii. War is like a wild animal, hungry for dead bodies and blood. In general, then, the passage underscores the reality that courage cannot be measured in any concrete, external way. This version was often slightly different from paper to paper, and, interestingly enough, did not include the last three red badge of courage essay chapters and ended with Henry and Wilson hearing the praise for their daring feat of capturing the flag. Its red had changed to an appalling yellow. The dead man and the living man exchanged a long look. He was not furious at small words that pricked his conceits. Nature, one could say, is totally indifferent to human concerns--the universe doesn't care about the differences between the Union and the Confederate armies; life goes on either way. Henry has developed such a philosophy over years of reading books, such as the ancient Greek epics of Homer, and also reading newspaper stories about the military's clashes with its opponents. Is Henry being brave in this scene? Is it a moral imperative? The mouth was open. Here we're introduced to Henry Fleming, a young man who feels a strong desire to fight in the war with the Southern states of the Union. This tension hasn't disappeared in the last century. Over the gray skin of the face ran little ants. He goes back to his comrades, vowing to cleanse himself through bravery in battle. He has deserted his regiment in the clash and horror of battle, deluding himself with specious arguments of self-preservation, only to discover that his group has won the day. Note the subtle color symbolism here--the red and blue (the official colors of the Confederate and Union troops) of the soldier's body have become green and yellow, symbolizing the decay of all political and ideological values in the face of utter annihilation. Duty? In this frightening, almost nightmarish scene, Henry stumbles upon a soldier's corpse. He's so young and immature that he takes no responsibility for his own actions--he's just waiting for the right stimuli to control his behavior. The youth took note of a remarkable change in his comrade ... Firefighters routinely rush into burning buildings to rescue people they’ve never even met. Henry's peers interpret his actions as heroic, and applaud his courage. red badge of courage essay He redoubles his assault on the Confederate foe, grasping the standard of battle from a dying man and carrying it bravely forward. A religious one? The Power of Myth. War is a zero-sum game: for every high school essays that provide that video games cause violence? victory that one soldier savors, another soldier is murdered. He was no more a loud young soldier. While in this particular case it's the Union troops who are under attack, Crane makes it clear enough that the Confederate soldiers will be "swallowed up" themselves sooner or later--the "red animal" of war doesn't play favorites. Even though Henry believes in the war effort, he doubts his ability to be courageous because it would require him to ignore his survival instinct. Just as Henry comes to despise himself for his own lack of courage during the battle, the Tattered Man continues to "attack" Henry with probing questions that reiterate Henry's cowardice.