Sacrificing Individuality In Steven Cranes Civil War Novel, The Red Badge Of Courage-步步高i606

Language When Steven Crane wrote The Red Badge of Courage in 1895, he had never even been in a battle, let alone the American Civil War. Nevertheless, it’s now considered one of the most accurate portrayals of war in literature – a characteristic that initially ticked a lot of Americans off as being "unpatriotic." Only when British critics praised the novel could Americans forgive Crane’s suggestion that war is no picnic in the park. The novel centers on Henry Fleming, a.k.a. the Youth, who enters the war expecting poetry, grandeur, courage, and, above all, action – when the ladies wel.e him home, that is. What he doesn’t figure into his plans is the fact that war is tedious when nothing happens and terrifying anytime anything does. During only his second round of battle, the Youth rekindles his relationship with the will to live and runs for the hills. While chucking a pine cone at a squirrel in the forest, the Youth has an epiphany: the squirrel doesn’t stand there unflinching to meet an honorable death, so why should he? This revelation makes him feel pretty clever but, as with most squirrel-based life decisions, the sentiment only lasts a few minutes. The Youth then stumbles across a corpse that’s practically riverdancing with ants and has another epiphany: the world really doesn’t care who lives or dies. Horrifying though this may be, it’s also kind of liberating, and he heads back to battle. Only by A) realizing that his life isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, and B) deciding to sacrifice his individuality to a larger concept (like the Union, the flag, camaraderie, or US History) is the Youth able to join and influence the battle. That’s right: taking the "self" out of the picture really makes the whole "save yourself!" thing less of an issue. It’s the same logic that makes you dive for the ball as a 300-lb guy named Buck carves a path through your teammates: you’d better either really want that ball or really like your team. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that all the main characters in The Red Badge of Courage have both real names like Henry, Jim, or Wilson and generic names like the Youth, the Tall Soldier, or the Loud Soldier. Actually, Stephen Crane was way ahead of his time when he decided to write a war novel that explored soldiers’ personal struggles instead of the overall movement of Civil War battles or the causes of the Civil War; only by showing the individual experience could he portray the process of a cog in "the war machine." Not bad for a 20-year old literary type who’d probably never even been in a fistfight. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: