Free Red Badge Of Courage Essays: An Anti-War Novel

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An Anti-war novel is just what it sounds like, a novel that is against war. These novels might not have explicit “I hate war!” messages; but between the lines, the sentiment still stands. Books of this genre include: All Quiet on the Western Front, Catch 22, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. The novel The Red Badge of Courage doesn’t really fit into this category, but it isn’t exactly pro-war either.
What makes The Red Badge of Courage so interesting is the contradictions within the novel. Stephen Crane writes about how brave and honorable soldiers are for fighting, then later writes how most of them tried to run and hide from battle. His original thought, that soldiers are brave, is very pro-war; however, his later writing that the soldiers tried to run from battle, is very anti-war. Most of the cowardly soldiers who tried to run away wind up being heroes in the end. Henry Fleming, the protagonist of the novel, is shown as a coward for the great majority of the book. It is only in chapter 23, when Henry steals the Confederate Flag, is he shown to be brave and honorable. This example is very pro-war, a man who once was considered weak became a hero. However, Crane also writes that war destroyed Henry’s mind. Sure he became a hero, but he could no longer separate himself from his
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Crane sought to write a novel that describes how difficult it is for a young man to survive in battle; how he copes, his friends, and the idea that courage is something you have to earn. So while The Red Badge of Courage doesn’t take a side in the Pro vs. Anti-war battle, it shows war in a new light; a personal light. This book follows the journey of a young man through the stages of war. We see his dreams for heroism, his reaction when met with the reality of war, his friends dying around him, his emotions, and finally, his
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