Essay: Red badge of courage

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
  • Reading time: 3 minutes
  • Price: Free download
  • Published on: January 21, 2019
  • File format: Text
  • Number of pages: 2
  • Red badge of courage
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The protagonist in this story is Henry Fleming. Henry was also know as “the young soldier”, Henry fought for the Union army in the Civil war. While fighting in the war Henry gets a wound by a union soldier that hits him on the head, Henry was asking why the men were running away and the soldier swung his gun with anger at Henry to get him off. The book talks about how from war to war after a long time Henry became one of the bravest soldiers on his army. Henry believe’s that “war will bring him untold glory.” Henry was scared that the regiment will move towards battle, he believes being killed will stop all of his problems. Those are some of the examples as to why Henry is the protagonist of this story.

Antagonist- The antagonist in this story is Henry himself. During this story a lot of the conflicts is in his own mind and the only thing holding him back is himself. He starts out with no courage or any desire to fight but he is filled with fear of the war. He himself does the most harm to him not the other army. He holds himself back until he finds it inside him to go lead his army into the war. Henry was his biggest enemy until he defeated the mind game and earned the courage that he needed formthe war.

Plot summary- The main summary of this book is war and courage. Throughout this book courage is what is holding Henry back, it is what scares him. At the beginning Henry is scared and isnt confident, he negins to want to take back the choices he made like leaving home. He regrets leaving and he should’ve listened to his mom when she told him not to enlist. He can’t turn back now and go back home so he has to fight in the war, once Henry is given a weapon and learns to use it he gains knowledge and courage. He starts to become a leader with Wilson by his side, he turns all of his fear into leadership. After winning the war over the Rebles he and his conrades feel like they can fight in the war. This book explains what it takes throughout the war and the steps it takes to get there. To summarize this book in one sentence i’d say that Henry turns from someone who doesn’t want to fight in the war to someone who leads his army to victory.

External conflict- In the book “red badge of courage” the main character Henry, faces many external conflicts. The biggest one is the war. He leaves home and joins the Union army and is faced with many authority figures of his own army. He has countless conflicts against the confederates who are fighting against him. Those are examples of external conflict in this book.

Internal conflict- Henry has many decison making times in this book, he has a hard time finding courage in himself and he feels that his own “outlessness” is worse than the actual battle. He thinks that being killed in the war will stop all of his problems. In the book he also has to make the decison on wether to leave his mom or to go to the war. Those are some examples of internal conflict.

Foreshadowing/irony- On page 28, Henry has a talk with Jim Cocklin and Wilson that foreshadows a choice Henry will have to face later in the book. Whether or not he will fight or flee in the time of the battle. In the begginning of the book Henrys mother tells him not to enlist but he doesn’t listen and does it anyways. Once he gets to camp he regrets the decison he made of leaving but he starts to blame the government for his actions.

Climax- The climax of this story is when Henry and Wilson leads the “304th regiment” into a war. They lead their army to a victory over the “rebles”, after this win the soldiers began to get there confidence back in themselves. People complement Henry on his win and his soldiers and that helps Henry get prepared and confident for the upcoming battles in the future. A lot of the soldiers feel more ready for war because they got their “enthusiasm” back. That is the climax of this book.

Theme- The theme of this book is courage. Throughout the story Henrys confidence rises, he was scared to go into war at first but after winning the battle against the Rebles he felt ready for war and so did his other soldiers. Going into the service Henry feels that he will “ return from battle either with his shield or on it”, his mother told him to earn his name but do it the right way.

Critique- I would recommend this story to someone who likes to learn about the civil war. This book gives you kind of a first hand look through henry on what it was like during the war. It talks about the feelings that you get during the war and before the war.

Critique- The book was interesting at some points but a lot of the time i didn’t understand the book, i didn’t understand the way they talked back then. But there wasnt to many things i didn’t like about the book.

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