The Living and the Dead Summary Analysis The silence in the woods is suddenly broken by the awesomely loud noise of new fighting, "like the grinding of an immense and terrible machine.
All the other characters in the book are there to serve Henry in some way, either by prompting him to action or reflection or by being a comparison or contrast to him.
Crane devotes the entire space of the novel to showing how the war affects Henry and causes him to change. The Youth is a typical young American brought up in the nineteenth century. Raised on a farm in rural New York, he is not afraid of hard work and appreciates the wonders of nature. He has been taught to equate manhood with valor, to dream of the glories of warfare, and to be unthinkingly patriotic.
As a result, when the Civil War breaks out, he volunteers to join the Union forces. His mother hates that her son is going off to war, but accepts it as "God's will. By nature, Henry has a very reflective temperament and a sharp, sensitive mind. In the army, he becomes an introspective loner, rarely interacting with the other soldiers.
He isolates himself to think about home, which he misses greatly, and to ponder whether he will be adequate for battle. His active mind imagines that the enemy is a huge monster with extraordinary powers, a picture that is much worse that the actuality.
Because the Youth is established as introspective, Crane can explore the terrain of his interior world and look into his deepest thoughts. Henry has been influenced by reading Homer and learning about the heroes of ancient Greece. He imagines himself as a Homeric hero, accomplishing great deeds.
In the army, however, he sees no heroics around him; instead he is haunted by the everyday boredom of routine military life, the cruelty and indifference of his military officers, and his fears that he cannot live up to a brave performance in battle.
In his first real battle, the Youth's greatest fear comes true. At the first charge from the enemy, his regiment becomes scattered and disorganized. Seeing some other men leave the battlefront, Henry throws down his rifle and runs.
The rest of the novel shows Henry's reaction to his guilt and shame over this desertion. At first he worries about how he will ever find his regiment again and about his cowardice being discovered. He grows obsessed by fear.
Needing to do something to protect himself, he joins a procession of the wounded. This simply makes matters worse for several reasons.Also, find an example of personification in Chapter 2. ' and find homework help for other The Red Badge of Courage questions at eNotes eNotes Home Homework Help.
The Red Badge of Courage takes place during an unnamed battle during the Civil War. Crane deliberately never mentions the place, the date, or even the fact that the war is the one between the state. The Red Badge of Courage challenges the protagonist’s (as well as the reader’s) most bedrock assumptions: the courage that Henry finally musters crucially depends on his having rewritten “his laws of life” and come to a new understanding of the world and his relatively modest place in it.
In “The Red Badge of Courage” Henry defines the American dream as being known for being courageous. Henry wants to show how brave he is by joining the war and he . The Red Badge of Courage takes place during an unnamed battle during the Civil War.
Crane deliberately never mentions the place, the date, or even the . Initially, Henry stands untested in battle and questions his own courage.
As the novel progresses, he encounters hard truths about the experience of war, confronting the universe’s indifference to his existence and the insignificance of his own life.