The Red Badge of Courage
The Red Badge of Courage centers on the life of a young Union soldier, Henry Fleming. Fleming disobeys his mother's wishes to remain on the farm to help her. But Fleming is caught up in the excitement of the war, until he gets his first taste of battle. The story spans a very short time during one isolated battle in the war. Fleming battles with himself to discover the meaning of courage. The young soldier has several awakenings during the battle such as learning fear and questioning the purpose of death. The narrative is lively even though Fleming does a lot of soul searching. Crane hardly glorifies war with this short novel. Quite the contrary, the book is an anti-war statement that shows that war is purposeless insanity.