The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage

3.6 198
by Stephen Crane
     
 

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The Red Badge of Courage is a war novel by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound—a "red badge of courage"—to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment

Overview

The Red Badge of Courage is a war novel by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound—a "red badge of courage"—to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry acts as standard-bearer.

Although Crane was born after the war, and had not at the time experienced battle firsthand, the novel is known for its realism. He began writing what would become his second novel in 1893, using various contemporary and written accounts (such as those published previously by Century Magazine) as inspiration. It is believed that he based the fictional battle on that of Chancellorsville; he may also have interviewed veterans of the 124th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commonly known as the Orange Blossoms. Initially shortened and serialized in newspapers in December 1894, the novel was published in full in October 1895. A longer version of the work, based on Crane's original manuscript, was published in 1982.

The novel is known for its distinctive style, which includes realistic battle sequences as well as the repeated use of color imagery, and ironic tone. Separating itself from a traditional war narrative, Crane's story reflects the inner experience of its protagonist—a soldier fleeing from combat—rather than the external world around him. Also notable for its use of what Crane called a "psychological portrayal of fear", the novel's allegorical and symbolic qualities are often debated by critics. Several of the themes that the story explores are maturation, heroism, cowardice, and the indifference of nature. The Red Badge of Courage garnered widespread acclaim—what Joseph Conrad called "an orgy of praise"—shortly after its publication, making Crane an instant celebrity at the age of twenty-four. The novel and its author did have its initial detractors, however, including author and veteran Ambrose Bierce. Adapted several times for the screen, the novel became a bestseller. It has never been out of print, and is now thought to be Crane's most important work and a major American text.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012838568
Publisher:
Mundus Publishing
Publication date:
07/14/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
338 KB

Meet the Author

Stephen Crane (November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900) was an American novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation.

The eighth surviving child of staunch Methodist Protestant parents, Crane began writing at the age of four and had published several articles by the age of 16. Having little interest in university studies, he left school in 1891 and began work as a reporter and writer. Crane's first novel was the 1893 Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, which critics generally consider the first work of American literary Naturalism. He won international acclaim for his 1895 Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, which he wrote without any battle experience.

In 1896, Crane endured a highly publicized scandal after acting as witness for a suspected prostitute. Late that year he accepted an offer to cover the Spanish-American War as a war correspondent. As he waited in Jacksonville, Florida for passage to Cuba, he met Cora Taylor, the madam of a brothel, with whom he would have a lasting relationship. While en route to Cuba, Crane's ship sank off the coast of Florida, leaving him adrift for several days in a dinghy. His ordeal was later described in "The Open Boat". During the final years of his life, he covered conflicts in Greece and lived in England with Cora, where he befriended writers such as Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells. Plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, Crane died of tuberculosis in a Black Forest sanatorium at the age of 28.

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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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago