The Red Badge of Courage is such a short book. I joked with Jeannette that we’d only have time to do a wrap-up post before being finished reading it. To keep that from happening, may I present this short post about the beginning chapters of Crane’s novel.
It feels a little funny to use bullet points for a book about a battle, but here we go…
- Based on the opening pages of the novel, the setting could be any number of battles. There’s no mention of sides or location. It took a while before I read about blue and gray.
- Like The Portrait of a Lady, it is pages before Crane reveals the name of our main character.
- I like this quote from Henry Fleming’s mother: “If so be a time comes when yeh have to be kilt or do a mean thing, why, Henry, don’t think of anything ‘cept what’s right, because there’s many a woman has to bear up ‘ginst sech things these times, and the Lord ‘ll take keer of us all.”
- What’s the difference between a regiment and a brigade?
- Crane likes to give human characteristics, attributes, or abilities to inanimate objects. For example, in chapter IV: “The battle flag in the distance jerked about madly. It seemed to be struggling to free itself from an agony.” Anyone remember the literary term for this?
WEM friends, what were your first impressions of our latest novel?