The Red Badge of Courage is a war book written by Stephen Crane. The setting of the book is during the civil war. The novel is a story about a youthful fearful man named Henry who grows from innocence to maturity. This novel talks of Henry Fleming, a young private of union army who runs away from the battlefield due to the fear of death. When he joined the army, he wanted to fulfill his dreams of glory but after his first battle, he flees away because he fears dying. Henry gets back after hearing the news that his regime managed to repel the enemy and all he meets are his fellow soldiers wounded returning from the battle field to look for medical help. Henry faces physical and mental struggles. His ultimate struggle is that death is completely inevitable and unconquerable to him and he decides to confront death, the fact of death and the inevitability of his death by going back to the battle field.
Henry sees one of the veteran soldiers of his company Jim Conklin die from the wounds. He is filled with guilt and hatred which makes him transform. When he tried stopping one of the soldiers from retreating from the battle, he hits him with a riffle on leaving him a serious head wound (Crane, 112). As times goes by after his recuperation, Henry turns his fear into anger and he fight s as a leader at his lieutenant’s side. The fearful young youth now transforms into an aggressive, confident, assertive and a strong fighter for his army. His guilt conscience goes away as he leads the charge together with the lieutenant in the battle. Henry ends up becoming the color bearer of the charge after the color leader of the regime is killed in the battle. At the end of the novel, Henry is transformed from a fearful, doubtful and lost youth into a confident, courageous, and duty bound soldier as he leads his fellow armies into the battle field.
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. New York: Appleton and Company, 1917. Print.