The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage

3.6 198
by Stephen Crane
     
 

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Chapter 1

The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs
revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape
changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble
with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the
roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to

Overview

Chapter 1

The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs
revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape
changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble
with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the
roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper
thoroughfares. A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks,
purled at the army's feet; and at night, when the stream had become of
a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam
of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distant hills.

Once a certain tall soldier developed virtues and went resolutely to
wash a shirt. He came flying back from a brook waving his garment
bannerlike. He was swelled with a tale he had heard from a reliable
friend, who had heard it from a truthful cavalryman, who had heard it
from his trustworthy brother, one of the orderlies at division
headquarters. He adopted the important air of a herald in red and gold.

"We're goin' t' move t'morrah--sure," he said pompously to a group in
the company street. "We're goin' 'way up the river, cut across, an'
come around in behint 'em."

To his attentive audience he drew a loud and elaborate plan of a very
brilliant campaign. When he had finished, the blue-clothed men
scattered into small arguing groups between the rows of squat brown
huts. A negro teamster who had been dancing upon a cracker box with
the hilarious encouragement of twoscore soldiers was deserted. He sat
mournfully down. Smoke drifted lazily from a multitude of quaint
chimneys.

"It's a lie! that's all it is--a thunderin' lie!" said another private
loudly. His smooth face was flushed, and his hands were thrust sulkily
into his trouser's pockets. He took the matter as an affront to him.
"I don't believe the derned old army's ever going to move. We're set.
I've got ready to move eight times in the last two weeks, and we ain't
moved yet."

The tall soldier felt called upon to defend the truth of a rumor he
himself had introduced. He and the loud one came near to fighting over
it.

A corporal began to swear before the assemblage. He had just put a
costly board floor in his house, he said. During the early spring he
had refrained from adding extensively to the comfort of his environment
because he had felt that the army might start on the march at any
moment. Of late, however, he had been impressed that they were in a
sort of eternal camp.

Many of the men engaged in a spirited debate. One outlined in a
peculiarly lucid manner all the plans of the commanding general. He
was opposed by men who advocated that there were other plans of
campaign. They clamored at each other, numbers making futile bids for
the popular attention. Meanwhile, the soldier who had fetched the
rumor bustled about with much importance. He was continually assailed
by questions.

"What's up, Jim?"

"Th'army's goin' t' move."

"Ah, what yeh talkin' about? How yeh know it is?"

"Well, yeh kin b'lieve me er not, jest as yeh like. I don't care a
hang."

There was much food for thought in the manner in which he replied. He
came near to convincing them by disdaining to produce proofs. They
grew much excited over it.

There was a youthful private who listened with eager ears to the words
of the tall soldier and to the varied comments of his comrades. After
receiving a fill of discussions concerning marches and attacks, he went
to his hut and crawled through an intricate hole that served it as a
door. He wished to be alone with some new thoughts that had lately
come to him.

He lay down on a wide bunk that stretched across the end of the room.
In the other end, cracker boxes were made to serve as furniture. They
were grouped about the fireplace. A picture from an illustrated weekly
was upon the log walls, and three rifles were paralleled on pegs.
Equipments hung on handy projections, and some tin dishes lay upon a
small pile of firewood. A folded tent was serving as a roof. The
sunlight, without, beating upon it, made it glow a light yellow shade.
A small window shot an oblique square of whiter light upon the
cluttered floor. The smoke from the fire at times neglected the clay
chimney and wreathed into the room, and this flimsy chimney of clay and
sticks made endless threats to set ablaze the whole establishment.

The youth was in a little trance of astonishment. So they were at last
going to fight. On the morrow, perhaps, there would be a battle, and
he would be in it. For a time he was obliged to labor to make himself
believe.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012317605
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
03/27/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
126 KB

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The Red Badge of Courage (A Norton Critical Edition) 3.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 198 reviews.
Michelle Winters More than 1 year ago
This book takes you on an adventure. The author clearly describes the battlefield and at one point i felt as if i was in the book. There was some old sayings and some different words but it really isnt hard to figure out. I strongly recommend this book to any civil war freak like me.
RyanF More than 1 year ago
This novel puts a great emphasis on it's protagonists thoughts and feelings throughout the battles which makes it easily readable and a great choice for literary essays. The work is an essential American classic and I would recommend it to any adult or teen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book while in cyber school and i have to say it was confusing at first but once i got the hang of the whole storyline it actually is a good book. Although it does have like some good parts, it does get confusing with all the thought details llike what the main character is thinking about..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading historical fiction can make readers want to read more. To become interested. If you wanted to learn more about the Civil War A Red Badge Of Courage is one of the better books. A classic text with great action and crucial historical putting you in the shoes of a soldier. A young prospective soldier yet not knowing the impending doom of war. Henry Fleming anxious for the Civil War. Yet he doesn’t realize the gruesome effect of The war; so he cowers and goes away. Day after night, countless thoughts of the war, he knew he needed to go back to take action, to... get his red badge of courage. A Red Badge Of Courage does not only capture the epic battles, the action, the effects of the Civil War. It also evaluates the crucial facts of the Civil War to relive the past, The Civil War. An example is after a soldier dies they sing songs to block the sorrow. This small part in the book replicates soldier life and shows what they do in different moments. This book can also make you infer about the past. For an example soldiers were not not well educated; soldiers would talk as if they came from a foreign country. One time Henry said “ Well, yeh kin b’lieve me er not, jest as yeh like. I don’t care a hang.” Most free slaves have better grammar. We can infer that free slaves wanted to get educated because they simply were not allowed so made them more determined to get educated. On the other hand the language can be very irritating and hard to follow because it leads you nowhere. Also Henry would not stop whining, he was that three year old child at the park thats ice cream has fell. In conclusion this book has many positives and negative to keep in mind. Like I said before A Red Badge Of Courage is one of the better books even though you have to power through the irritating  language. Now you can see how this classic text can show you a life of a soldier and what it was like to be one; the great battles, the living spaces, and much more. In conclusion if you want a classic text with action and a very realistic tour of a soldiers life trapped in war, if so this is the book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JordanStormCloud More than 1 year ago
In the book, “Red Badge of Courage” Henry Fleming is in the union army. He runs away during a battle, “Field of War.” But after the battle he feels a shame for have leaving in the middle like that. So now he wants to redeem himself by getting injured in battle to get the badge, “Red Badge of Courage.” This book is enjoyable but it also helps you learn a little bit about the civil war. For example its shows how sacred most the soldiers were and it also showed qhat the battle field was like, and the camps, such as when people saw people at the camps. It also shows how people turned “crazy” after they were shot. if you're looking for a good historical fiction Red badge of courage would be the one because it is a good book but you may get a little confused during the storyline but overall you shows the life of soldiers and many more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want a book that you and the main character both can learn from, this is it..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story for an artistic mind...painters will instinctively be moved by it. I creates emotions in the reader that most will never come close to experiencing in their lifetime. Veterns of combat say its right on the experience. I do not know these emotions first hand...thanks to the sacrifice of my relatives who fought in the Civil War, WWll and Iraq.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lord in heaven, people, please stick to giving book reviews. There are so many other avenues to speak to each other. Facebook Twitter Blogs by the dozens. Please go there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Long and about war
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book as part of a school assaignment, and most books I'm given to read are somewhat good. But in this case, I couldn't enjoy this much. I ended up being lost in the language, and I've gotten through Shakesphere and the Oddysey without trouble. The book took me almost a month and a half to finish, and being only 100 pages long, that was pathetic. It took so long because I couldn't stay interested for more than 5-10 minutes at a time. If the book was an easier read, it might have been better. I really don't suggest you pick this book up unless you want to read a classic, or you want to challenge yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing. Just amazing. At first I thought this book was extremely boring, but after a Couple of chapters i was just sucked into the splendid detail and compelling vocabulary this book has that no other can even compare to. I give this a well deserved 5 stars. No other author can make such a genius novel as this one, that manages to make me laugh and cry and ponder how the characters feel all in one hour. This book has truelly touched my heart and makes me wonder why so many people havent read it. ~<3~ Emery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah, anyway, I thought SL's original thing was cruel, anyway.
Skeeter21 More than 1 year ago
Always wanted to read this book and now I'm glad I did. You are right in the middle of the front lines in combat during the Civil War. Very, very good.
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