The Red Badge of Courage
Stephen Crane
Contributed by Denis Minns

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Stephen Crane
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About the Title

In chapter nine of the novel, Henry has come back to find his fellow soldiers injured after a battle that he has run away from in fear. As Henry looks around and thinks about the wounds that everyone else seems to have, the book’s omniscient narrator weaves the title of the novel into this passage, ’’At times, Henry regarded the wounded soldiers in an envious way. He conceived persons with torn bodies to be peculiarly happy. He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage.’’ The red badge is literally a wound. In metaphorical terms, Henry compares a wound to a badge that shows courage. When he makes this comparison, he reveals how he views the wounds of battle and how he feels about not having one.

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