However, the contract also stipulated that he was not to receive royalties from the books sold in Great Britain, where they were released by in early 1896 as part of its Pioneer Series. The following chapters detail his growth and apparently resulting heroism. Henry is also too afraid to without any knowledge of what happened. In this passage one can see Henry beginning to falsely view himself as a hero. Focusing on the complex internal struggle of its main character, rather than on the war itself, Crane's novel often divides readers as to whether the story is intended to be either for or against war.
Fearing the battle is a lost cause, Henry his regiment. He thinks that his current culture has tamed men of their natural urge to fight immortal battles, and that there are no longer any men of the stature of the Greeks. They lay twisted in fantastic contortions. Henry survives because he is able to put his self-centeredness aside and become part of the unit. This is evidence of his flaw because if he hadn't run away then he wouldn't have to bother this man. With the flag in hand, Henry feels immediately empowered; the ubiquitous symbol of freedom and courage invests him with his own power and valiancy as he rushes headlong towards the enemy lines. Henry seems mature by the end of the novel, but this may be just another moment of calm in a much bigger storm.
Eighteen-year-old Private Henry Fleming, remembering his romantic reasons for enlisting as well as his mother's resulting protests, wonders whether he will remain brave in the face of fear or turn and run. When he finally does make it to battle, Henry is still operating on this principle of self-preservation. He saw himself even with those ideals that he had considered far beyond him. It says that Henry Fleming finally sees things as they are; it says he is a deluded fool. He pulled at it and, wrenching it free, swung up its red brilliancy with a mad cry of exultation even as the color bearer, gasping, lurched over in a final throe and, stiffening convulsively, turned his dead face to the ground.
And from it he would learn to be gentle with others. This is war from a new point of view. Finding solace in thoughts, he internally fights to make sense of the senseless world in which he finds himself. Facing withering fire if they stay and disgrace if they retreat, the officers order a charge. When Henry and his regiment the 304th New York finally integrate into camp life, he begins to question himself. His hands, too, seemed large and awkward as if he was wearing invisible mittens. The other men care for the youth, dressing his wound.
This time, Henry freaks out. Because no harm could come to it he endowed it with power. The more we think about it, the more this seems entirely appropriate. Whether he is a solider fighting off the British in the American Revolution, or a solider fighting against his own in a civil war. Over the gray skin of the face ran little ants. He abandons any thoughts of honor and duty and sinks into a state of total self-concern and immaturity.
They asserted a society that probes pitilessly at secrets until all is apparent. He had fled, he told himself, because annihilation approached. Interpretive Conventions: The Reader in the Study of American Fiction. On this strange foundation, Henry's confidence for battle begins to take shape. It was a goddess, radiant, that bended its form with an imperious gesture to him. He would, however, later serve as a during the and. His personality and behavior move from innocence to experience, in essence from doubt to duty.
Those pictures of glory were piteous things. Yet the youth smiled, for he saw that the world was a world for him though many discovered it to be made of oaths and walking sticks Crane, 109. There was the law, he said. Henry's promotion to flag bearer is an important act of symbolism, a literary device in which an object stands in for an idea or theme. After the war, Henry becomes regarded as tremendous figure.
Among the group is Jim Conklin, who has been shot in the side and is suffering delirium from blood loss. New Essays on The Red Badge of Courage. Being young and inexperienced and growing up in an insecure environment, it was only natural for him to be terrified of the war before him. Student Companion to Stephen Crane. Several of the themes that the story explores are maturation, heroism, cowardice, and the indifference of nature. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.