Essay Red Badge of Courage

756 Words4 Pages
The Red Badge of Courage
Kelsey Christian
The book The Red Badge of Courage was a very moving and interesting book that has many examples of the literary devices; irony, motif, and metaphor. These three things are very important in many forms of writing. Irony is an outcome of events different to what was or might have been expected. Motif is a recurring theme, symbol, or idea in artistic or literary work. An extended metaphor is the comparison of one thing to another that recurs throughout the novel. This book is filled with these elemental devices which are very important in every field of literature. An example of irony can be found in chapters 7 & 8, an example of motif can be found in chapters 9 – 12, and an example of extended
…show more content…
Henry learns to battle and live among the barest basics of nature. While nature plays an important role, Henry also learns about the basic emotions that men use when fighting and killing each other (42). Henry finds nature in God; therefore He is everywhere Henry looks. Henry is constantly reminded of his religious beliefs. Whenever he is starting to stray away from God he is reminded by nature that God is watching over him (45, 56). Although he makes mistakes, when he glances to the setting sun or the rising moon he knows he has been forgiven. The motifs, such as the use of nature to describe his belief in Christianity, are what truly show Henry’s personality.
An extended metaphor is a comparison that can be seen throughout this novel. An example of this literary style is Stephen Crane’s use of beastly images to depict the enemy; the confederates in this case (18). Henry had a fear of the enemy, and most people express most fears through calling something “unnatural” or “beastly” like a monster (40). Crane uses Henry’s fears of the enemy to create a sense of trepidation of Henry’s life towards the reader. Throughout the book you hear phrases like “the dragons are approaching,” and “the long serpents are crawling from hill to hill,” (18, 40). Extended metaphors are what Stephen Crane uses to give a since of alarm and fear about the Civil War to the readers. He describes the discrimination and fear the enemies of both sides were to each other.
Get Access