Tag Archives: The Red Badge of Courage
Yesterday I asked my crew if anyone wanted to read the Great Illustrated Classics version of The Red Badge of Courage. Not to be outdone by child number one who recently wrote a post, child number two quickly piped up with, “I will!”
Me:Can you tell me what the book is about?
#2: The Red Badge of Courage is a book about Henry Fleming. He was a young farmer who went off to war. He didn’t have to, but he wanted to.
Me: Why don’t you tell me three parts of the story that you enjoyed.
#2: I liked when Henry Fleming and Tom wrestle over holding the flag, and Henry becomes the flag bearer. (One difference between the Great Illustrated Classic and the original text is that the GIC has Wilson getting the confederate flag from the dead flag bearer and not Wilson and Fleming together taking it.) I liked when the mule-drivers had their revenge by winning their battle. One part that was sad was when Henry Fleming’s friend Jim died.
Me: Did you think this book was too bloody or gruesome for kids your age?
#2: For some kids maybe, but not for me.
Me: To whom would you recommend this book?
#2: People who read books about wars.
PS– I, Christine, did not read the Great Illustrated Classics version of this novel. I did take a peek at the very end to see if the epilogue titled “The Veteran” was included. It was not. But there was a map on the very last page titled “The Battle of Chancellorsville. Virginia: May, 1863”.
So that’s where we were!
Are you in the midst of battle?
Taking a breather?
Walking with the wounded?
Waiting for an officer to issue the next order?
Refilling your canteen?
Wherever you are, please share your place in the comments.
The Red Badge of Courage chapter XI
“A certain mothlike quality within him kept him in the vicinity of the battle. He had a great desire to see, and to get news. He wished to know who was winning.”
“Mothlike” a perfect, beautiful, terrible, descriptive word that expresses exactly what Henry Fleming is feeling. Compelled to go closer and closer to the battle line where he knows he could be killed.
Stephen Crane, you’re good.
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?
Listen up, recruits! It’s time to start reading The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.
The back of the Puffin Classics edition says:
Young Henry Fleming had always dreamed of performing heroic deeds in battle. But as a raw recruit in the American Civil War, Henry experiences both fear and self-doubt. Will war make him a coward? or a hero?
You have your assignment. Start reading the text.
Let’s find out together what will happen to Henry Fleming.
Enlisted, conscripted, drafted. Recruited, enrolled, and called up.
That’s right folks. You’re in the reading army now.
The next book on our list is…
The Red Badge of Courage
by Stephen Crane.
We’re diving into American history.
“Henry Fleming, a raw Union recruit in the American Civil War, is anxious to confirm his patriotism and manhood–to earn his “badge of courage.” (back cover of the 1985 Penguin Classics copy)
Listen up, WEM soldiers! You’ll be reporting for reading duty in a matter of days, so find your copy of
The Red Badge of Courage.