The Red Badge of Courage
Breaking the Mold: Gender Assumptions in The House of Mirth and The Red Badge of Courage
In Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, protagonist Lily Bart is on a quest for happiness. In her case, happiness embodied in the image of marriage to a rich and indulgent husband and, subsequently, the ability to behave as a proper woman of society and culture should. However, when she attempts to lure this sort of husband into her traps, she is betrayed by high society and forced to reevaluate the value of herself as a woman. Similarly, in The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane’s character Henry Fleming is also striving to fulfill an idealized gender role – that of the courageous and valiant soldier – only to realize that the manhood the role demands is not quite of the type he had imagined. Both characters are faced with disillusionment and startling insights into the nature of their society on their respective paths of self-realization.
The reader is introduced to Lily in the midst of her pursuit of a husband. She bemoans her advancing age, noting that “[y]ounger and plainer girls had been married off by dozens, and she was nine-and-twenty, and still Miss Bart” (Wharton). Lily blames her failure to procure a husband on her inability to emulate society’s idealized woman. She questions herself:
Had she shown an undue eagerness for victory? Had she lacked patience, pliancy and dissimulation? Whether she charged herself with these faults or absolved herself from them, made no difference in the sum-total of her failure (Wharton).
Lily at no point in this self reproach pauses to consider that perhaps it is society’s expectations of her place and not her own flaws that are to blame for her present discontentment. Her eagerness to procure a place in it prevents her from forming any sort of negative critique of the society which expects her to be content with a life of marriage, parties, and gossip. In fact, for a woman of Lily’s moderate means, the demands of keeping up appearances in her desired circle pushes her into a world of financial and emotional uncertainty.
By borrowing money from a rich man, Lily inadvertently invites societal gossip as to the motivation behind his generosity and realizes “[…] for the first time that a woman’s dignity may cost more to keep up than her carriage; and that the maintenance of a moral attribute should be dependent on dollars and cents, made the world appear a more sordid place than she had conceived it” (Wharton). She slowly becomes more cynical towards her social environment, but it is the only world in which she knows how to function and as such, is difficult to abandon in entirety.
Lily does have occasional impulses to remove herself from such a demanding social system. At one point “[s]he was beginning to have fits of angry rebellion against fate, when she longed to drop out of the race and make an independent life for herself,” but even these small resistances come to no use, for after them Lily still resists breaking with her established lifestyle, and rejects her whimsical notion of an independent life in asking herself unhappily, “[b]ut what manner of life would it be?” (Wharton). Lily’s inability to align her impulses toward independence and freedom with the social concept that all a woman should desire is to be married to, and to be provided for by, a man of means, eventually land her in the depths of humiliation and poverty. In a conversation with Lawrence Selden she reveals that after speaking with him of personal freedom, she “saw [she] could never be happy with what had contented [her] before” (Wharton). She finally realizes the futility of attempting to mold herself to the desires of society. Lily makes a final speech to Selden in an attempt to redeem herself in his eyes. She says:
I have tried hard–but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else. What can one do when one finds that one only fits into one hole? (Wharton).
By living her entire life trying to fulfill the society’s expectations of the female sex, Lily has lost any other individual abilities which may have enabled her to break out of the pigeonhole in which her social environment has placed her.
As a male character, Henry Fleming has worked to achieve a very different set of assumptions and expectations. However, Henry’s ambition is, like Lily’s, motivated by a desire to attain the attention and approval of his society by himself emulating an idealized man – the strong, brave, and honorable soldier. Henry’s lack of manhood is emphasized by the way the narrator constantly refers to Henry as “the youth” (Crane). Henry dreams of the glory that the battlefield may bring and is intoxicated with the concept:
He had burned several times to enlist. Tales of great movements shook the land. They might not be distinctly Homeric, but there seemed to be much glory in them. He had read of marches, sieges, conflicts, and he had longed to see it all. His busy mind had drawn for him large pictures extravagant in color, lurid with breathless deeds (Crane).
Legends of wartime heroism, courage, and nerve have penetrated deep into Henry’s mind and he sees the possibility of claiming his manhood by crusading bravely on his country’s behalf. In war heroes, Henry sees all of the qualities of the era’s ideal male – strength, valor, stoicism, cunning – all of which contribute to the mystique of military life and convince Henry to finally enlist.
When Henry first sees battle, all his romantic notions are shattered. He fights well, but is shocked by the sheer visceral intensity of the commotion. He “conceded it to be impossible that he should ever become a hero. He was a craven loon. Those pictures of glory were piteous things. He groaned from his heart and went staggering off” (Crane). This disillusionment shatters Henry’s spirit at the time but at the end of his story, it is the relinquishment of his former ideals which most cement his manhood. He has been humbled by war and death and has realized that the ideal is not always as idyllic as it appears. Henry’s moment of epiphany comes as he “found that he could look back upon the brass and bombast of his earlier gospels and see them truly. He was gleeful when he discovered that he now despised them” (Crane).
Both Lily and Henry begin their stories by aspiring to societally idealized gender roles and in the end realize the futility of attempting to attain a romanticized version of gender perfection. The journey to self-realization often, it appears, must begin with knowledge that there exists an actual self in separation from the role that society dictates.
The Statue off its Pedestal: Stephen Crane’s Notions of Heroism
The world of Stephen Crane’s fiction is a cruel, lonely place. Man’s environment shows no sympathy or concern for man; in the midst of a battle in The Red Badge of Courage “Nature had gone tranquilly on with her golden process in the midst of so much devilment” (89). Crane frequently anthropomorphizes the natural world and turns it into an agent actively working against the survival of man. From the beginning of “The Open Boat” the waves are seen as “wrongfully and barbarously abrupt and tall” (225) as if the waves themselves had murderous intent. During battle in The Red Badge of Courage the trees of the forest stretched out before Henry and “forbade him to pass. After its previous hostility this new resistance of the forest filled him with a fine bitterness” (104). More omnipresent than the mortal sense of opposition to nature, however, is the mortal sense of opposition to other men. Crane portrays the Darwinian struggle of men as forcing one man against another, not only for the preservation of one’s life, but also the preservation of one’s sense of self-worth. Henry finds hope for escape from this condition in the traditional notion that “man becomes another thing in a battle” more selfless and connected to his comrades (73). But the few moments in Crane’s stories where individuals rise above self-preservation are not the typically heroicized moments of battle. Crane revises the sense of the heroic by allowing selfishness to persist through battle. Only when his characters are faced with the absolute helplessness of another human do they rise above themselves. In these grim situations the characters are reminded of their more fundamental opposition to nature.
Even before Henry enters the army his relationship with other humans is defined by antagonism. His mother asks him not to join the army and as a result he goes out and enlists. He announces his enlistment to his mother “diffidently,” (47) suggesting a conscious desire to hurt her feelings by exaggerating the ease of his decision. The moments before he leaves are not marked by any tender communion, but instead by an estranged irritation. Quiet antagonism escalates as Henry reaches his camp. The relationship between the veterans and the new recruits is not explained in the language of pedagogy, instead as in so many naturalistic relationships, the veterans are predators and Henry is the “prey” (51).
As the men enter battle, the reader expects this antagonism to subside, expects with Henry, that “man [will] become another thing in battle.” At first the youth’s fantasies seem to play out as he feels himself begin to weld “into a common personality which was dominated by a single desire” (84). But in the first moment that the troops are confronted with a viable enemy Henry “lost the direction of safety” (93). The threat to his self-preservation causes him to run from the battle, and as his own worse fear is borne out, his sense of antagonism returns with gusto. As he runs he calls his comrades “Methodical idiots! Machine-like fools” (95). It is evident that the understanding of his own weakness drives him to denigrate everyone around him, for psychological self-preservation. This particular sense of self-preservation creates an antagonism that runs throughout the rest of the battles; “he felt a great anger against his comrades” (99) because he senses they are always trying to crush his own sense of self-worth. The shared nature of this antagonism is evident from the nearly constant fights in the Union camps, even after successful campaigns. On the battlefield, when the enemy is supposed to be the men in gray, the anger is instead pointed “against his officer” (179), or in another situation, “riveted upon the man, who, not knowing him, had called him a mule driver” (183); the officers, rather than shouting encouragement, let fly blasphemous curses against the men. Even the most outwardly heroic moment that where Henry clutches the flag from the falling color-guard is defined by an antagonism, as both Henry and his friend “jerked at it, stout and furious . . . the youth and his friend had a small scuffle over the flag” (181), in an effort to secure the glory of carrying the flag for himself. Crane chose war as his venue for exploring human nature, suggesting his fundamental belief in antagonism as the basic state of humanity.
Yet there are moments where the humans do rise above this antagonism breeding self-preservation. These are not moments of battle where the sense of a communal hope and venture binds the men together. Instead, these moments come in the face of absolute hope- and help-lessness. The most vivid such moment comes in the moments before the death of Jim Conklin. As Henry sees the hopelessness of Jim’s situation, “he strove to express his loyalty, but could only make fantastic gestures” (112). In stark contrast to his antagonistic relationship with every other soldier up to this point, Henry is now eager to do anything for Jim. Henry never believes he can save Jim, he mourningly says “I’ll take care of yeh! I swear t’ Gawd I will!” (112), but he never dares utter that common refrain of battlefield literature, “you’re going to be all right.” He is silently cogniscant of Jim’s inevitable death, and while never explained as such, it is just this understanding that sets this moment apart from all the other moments in which Henry retains his antagonistic sense of self-preservation. This interpretation is supported by the dearth of selflessness in Henry until the next time he confronts helplessness. Henry again transcends his solipsism when he comes upon a column of men that had burst “from their coats and their equipments as from entanglements.” As they bear down upon Henry, he “forgot that he was engaged in combating the universe” forgot about the gripes with his comrades that he had returned to in the immediate aftermath of Jim’s death, and “stared in agony” at the men. Henry’s ability to move outside of his selfish concerns again does not come from some sense of a shared hope between the men, but instead from his recognition of the army as “helpless” (130).
The men in “The Open Boat” seem to have found a lasting sense of camaraderie in their own venture. The men consistently and cheerfully sacrifice sleep and comfort to give other men a break from rowing. But this sense of selflessness does not arise from a sense of collective venture, instead it arises from the omnipresent sense of hopelessness. Antagonism sneaks on to the boat only when they do come in contact with some source of hope. When they approach a tiny lighthouse the first man-made structure they have seen the “four scowling men sat in the dinghy, and surpassed records in the invention of epithets” (235). This moment of hope is said to sharpen their minds, and “to their sharpened minds it was easy to conjure pictures of all kinds of incompetency and blindness and, indeed, cowardice”: (236). When they again see humans on the shore the men on the boat argue about the identity and thoughts of the people, “no; he thinks we’re fishing,” “no, that’s no boat” (240). It is the only moment of disagreement they have during their journey. Visions of hope conjure up feelings of self-preservation, and with them a sense of self-righteousness and anger. As they float out to sea again, away from possible help, the men find complete agreement again, and answer all requests of themselves with a docile “sure.”
Henry enters battle with the notion that an identifiable enemy or opposition will help bring coherence to the men, and deliver him into a selfless heroism. While this does not happen in the war between men, a different opposition seems to help bring about the moments of transcendence in Crane’s works. An understanding of helplessness provides an opportunity for humans to bond together in the opposition to nature. Both Henry and the men on the open boat give a similar angry response to nature in the aftermath of their parallel experiences of bonding. While floating helplessly at sea, the men in the boat shed nary a negative word about the men on shore, but instead shout silent invectives at nature. At one hopeless moment Crane says that a man “wishes to throw bricks at the temple [of nature], and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples. Any visible expression of nature would surely be pelleted with his jeers” (246). Crane purposely leaves the identity of the thinker of this thought anonymous, suggesting that any and all of the men could have had this thought. Henry feels a similar rage coupled with impotence in the aftermath of Jim’s death: he “shook his fist. He seemed about to deliver a philippic. Hell- The red sun was pasted in the sky like a wafer” (116). Henry cuts his philippic short as he sees just how uncaring, and unapproachable the red sun is. Hopelessness opens man up to his more shared fate and powerlessness within nature, and creates a more distinct and hateful enemy than any men in gray. In this larger battle, man is changed, but only for those moments in which he is forced to confront his own powerlessness.
Crane does not necessarily view Henry’s ability to transcend himself in the face of helplessness as heroic. But Crane definitely leaves behind any positive notion of war as eliciting self-less heroism; “there was a singular absence of heroic poses” (87). Even while recognizing that “it would not be handsome for him to freely condemn other men,” as Henry does in battle, “the words upon his tongue were too bitter” (156). Battle only brings out a willful self-assertion as the self-worth of each man is tested. Those few moments where a “subtle brotherhood of men” (231) is spied, are conspicuously away from the battle field, in settings where man is able to dwell on the larger opposition present in the world.
Tone and Stance on War in The Red Badge of Courage and In Pharaoh’s Army
War has both rattled and captivated society since the beginnings of human history. Tales from war have long excited audiences, and images of great courage and heroic acts have often shaped the public view of war into a grand experience of fighting for a noble cause. However, literature has also expressed other, less lionizing stances towards war. Both The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane and In Pharaoh’s Army by Tobias Wolff are examples of this different perspective. While they are about two very different wars fought for very different reasons, neither work focuses as much on the war’s purpose or goal as much as on a soldier’s experience—either through fiction or nonfiction. Through the tones of their narratives, Crane and Wolff both develop a stance that war is not about glory or courage, but is rather a monotonous struggle. Soldiers, for these authors, are more focused on their own survival or image than on selfless courage in the name of a greater cause.
In The Red Badge of Courage, Crane develops his stance through a tone of irony by emphasizing the differences between the glorious thoughts of the main character, Henry, and the author’s vivid description of the realities of war. By almost mocking the character, Crane develops his stance on war, which he sees as a monotonous struggle that has very little to do with selfless heroism; instead, war is a state of self-preservation. The title itself refers to “a wound, a little red badge of courage” that Henry envied the wounded soldiers for having (51). Showing that this superficial proof of courage is more important to Henry than actual combat (which Henry avoids) reflects the tone of irony Crane continues throughout the novel. The main character’s thoughts are constantly filled with imaginations of glory—from “the strength” he felt “to do mighty deeds of arms,” (7) to the “thunderous, crushing blow” he conceived “that would prostrate the resistance and spread consternation and amazement for miles,” (120) to his “self-pride” which was “entirely restored” because nobody knew he fled the battle, “so he was still a man” (82). In this last example, Crane’s ironic tone is especially apparent as he presents Henry’s thinking as almost a logical fallacy. Henry, presumably, is a man because “he had performed his mistakes in the dark” (82). Crane contrasts Henry’s thoughts with violent and vivid descriptions of war—including men dropping “here and there like bundles,” with “blood streaming widely down” their faces, or “clinging desperately” to a tree “and crying for assistance” (34). Crane’s powerful descriptions of battle invoke a world uncaring of human suffering and make Henry’s desire for glory seem foolish in contrast.
Even when Henry performs quite a heroic action—bearing a flag at the head of a charge that “seemed eternal,” (106) as described by Crane at great length—it turns out that this advance was a very minute and insignificant part of the great struggle of war, and, according to a lieutenant, “wasn’t very far, was it?” (111) This is, again, a use of irony that develops Crane’s stance on war. Not only does he show it as a lengthy and painful struggle, but also one where soldiers are not concerned with selfless actions for a greater cause. By the end of the novel, he depicts Henry realizing his mistaken thoughts—finding that “he was gleeful” to discover that he despised “the brass and bombast of his earlier gospels” (128). This ending solidifies Crane’s stance on war by having his character come to agree with it—that war is truly not very similar to the traditional image of glory associated with it.
While The Red Badge of Courage disputes traditional notions of courageous warfare, In Pharaoh’s Army depicts an experience of war so far from selfless courage that the concept is hardly mentioned—an experience where the top concern was to obtain a 21-inch color television, to better watch the “Bonanza special on Thanksgiving night” (18). Resembling that used by Crane, Tobias Wolff’s tone is clearly ironic and mocking. Also calling to mind Crane’s, the tone here is established in part by indirectly ridiculing the main character’s thoughts, although in this case the character is the author’s past self, whom he presents as a product of the absurdity of the war. Using this tone, Wolff is able to develop a stance that war is, again, not about selfless courage but rather about self-preservation. The message given to soldiers before their tour, “if you do everything right, you’ll make it home,” (5) reflects this notion, and Wolff uses his own thoughts and actions as a soldier to exemplify the whole war effort. He shows that from the start, the Americans, including himself, saw the Vietnamese as “people, not peasants,” (4) but would quickly learn (as he indicates by portraying himself and other individuals, such as Captain Kale) that a friendly connection with the people they were supposed to be helping was hardly possible.
Wolff raises this criticism of the war many times, often through criticizing his own character, who, like others, “would kill every last one of [the Vietnamese] to save our own skins,” (140) or “didn’t think of our targets as homes,” because “when you’re afraid, you will kill anything that might kill you” (138). Wolff even goes further to directly criticize this attitude by showing how it lost the war; he explains that “once [the Viet Cong] were among the people we would abandon our pretense of distinguishing between them.” (140) This fundamental distrust between the Americans and their Vietnamese allies is a point Wolff returns to frequently, by again showing that he personally “wasn’t so sure about our friends,” even though “these men had never given me any reason for such a thought, as I well knew” (138). By continuing this tone of self-reflection that indirectly mocks himself, he strongly advances his stance on the war by accepting that he was very much a part of what he is criticizing. Wolff makes it quite simple to understand the absurdity and lack of glory in a war in which “the idea of those people coming at us with even a fraction of the hardware we routinely turned on them seemed outrageous,” (7) and the sergeant he lived with had to “somehow let me know what orders to give him to preserve the fiction of my authority” (162). Through a mocking and ironic tone, Wolff develops a stance that war is rather absurd; self-preservation trumps fighting gloriously for a cause.
While The Red Badge of Courage and In Pharaoh’s Army differ in the wars depicted and in the circumstances under which the wars took place, the similarities in their tones and stances on war are quite interesting. Neither focuses especially on the purpose of each war, but each still develops a shared stance—that war has little to do with glorious combat or selfless courage. Instead, war is endless futile fighting in which soldiers are interested more in their own lives and how they are perceived than in fighting valiantly for a noble cause. Certainly, through this stance each book is—and has been—able to affect readers’ own stances on war, challenging the age-old images of glory and heroism associated with warfare.
Red Badge of Courage Analysis
The red badge of courage is popular because it is a story that makes war look like a brutal violent terrible thing not something that represents heroism and romance. This was Cranes goal for the book and he accomplished it. Throughout the book gruesomeness is portrayed and men not acting like heros. This is popular because it is like no other book it is truthful and honest about what happens it doesn’t make up heros.
He suddenly lost concern for himself, and forgot to look at a menacing fate. He became not a man but a member. He felt that something of which he was a part a regiment, an army, a cause, or a country was in a crisis. He was welded into a common personality which was dominated by a single desire. For some moments he could not flee, no more than a little finger can commit a revolution from a hand. (501)
This shows how Henry is realizing that this isn’t like the Greek stories that he has read all his life. This is the real situation this also is when he is almost runs away from the battle because he knows that he is not courageous enough for the Civil War
THIS ADVANCE OF THE ENEMY SEEMED TO THE YOUTH LIKE A CRUEL hunting. He began to express his anger. He beat his foot upon the ground, and looked with hate at the rising smoke that was approaching like a flood. There was a maddening quality in this apparent determination of the enemy to give him no rest, to give him no time to sit down and think. Yesterday he had fought and run away. There had been many adventures. Today he felt that he had earned opportunity for rest and thought. He was sore and stiff from his experiences. He had had enough, and he wished to rest. But the rebels seemed never to grow tired; they were fighting with their old speed. He had a wild hate for the enemy. Yesterday, when he had imagined the world to be against him, he had hated the world. Today he hated the army of the enemy with the same great hatred. He was not going to run all his life, like a cat hunted by dogs, he thought. It was not good to push men so hard. (569)
This shows the battle about to start between the unions and the confederates Henry id about to have the courage to fight in a battle. This is a big change in the book and is the climax of the story. This is the final tale in a large bloody battle
The Red Badge of Courage is entertaining to people because of its aspect of war that goes so in depth that no other book at the time could compare with. The red badge of Courage gives people who have never experienced warfare up close and personal when reading this book. When writing Red badge of Courage Stephen Crane set out to destroy the notion that war was full of heroism and romance. Some libraries and schools have banned the Red Badge of Courage because of its violence in the book. Many warjunkies love this book.
The Lieutenant of the youths company was shot in the hand. He began to swear so wondrously that a nervous laugh went along the regimental line. The officers profanity sounded conventional. It relieved the tightened senses of the new man. It was as if he had hit his fingers with a tack hammer at home. He held the wounded member carefully away from his side so that the blood would not drip upon his trousers. The captain of the company, tucking his sword under his arm, produced a handkerchief and began to bind with it the lieutenants wound. And they disputed as to how the binding should be done. The battle flag in the distance jerked about madly. It seemed to be struggling to free itself from a frightful pain. The clouds of smoke were filled with flashes. Fast running men came through the smoke. They grew in numbers until it was seen that many brigades were running away. The flag suddenly sank down as if dying. Its motion as it fell was a movement of despair. Wild shouts came from behind the walls of smoke. A mob of men rushed past like wild horses.(496)
This is a brutal scene where blood is right in your face, meaning that you don’t have to read inbetween the lines to realize oh there is battle going on here where people are getting hurt and it is very bloody. This scene is entertaining because how much you learn from it about war because there is the hurting lieutenant who is being laughed at by his troops. This is a cool and entertaining scene for many because of the gruesomeness and the graphicness.
The men dropped here and there like bundles. The captain of the youth’s company had been killed in an early part of the action. His body lay stretched out in the position of a tired man resting, but upon his face there was an astonished and sorrowful look, as if he thought some friend had done him an ill turn. The babbling man was grazed by a shot that made the bloodstream widely down his face. He clapped both hands to his head. Oh! he said, and ran. Another grunted suddenly as if a club had struck him in the stomach. He sat down and gazed ruefully. In his eyes there was mute, indefinite reproach. Farther up the line a man, standing behind a tree, had had his knee joint splintered by a ball. Immediately he had dropped his rifle and gripped the tree with both arms. And there he remained, clinging desperately and crying for assistance that he might withdraw his hold upon the tree.(504)
This is another graphic scene that shows the battle of the 304th regiment attempting to hold off the confederates. Whats makes this so entertaining is the detail Crane goes into in this scene it makes you go wow and allows the reader to feel like there is in that moment some people get a rush of adrenaline from reading this book just because of the detail that Crane is going into.
Topic #3- Inspiration
One idea that would inspire young writers today would be the detail of the book not only with the side of war but in the details of every aspect of the book. The detail in this book focuses on the setting more than the overall story of the book. Something else that could inspire young writers is how Crane gets rid of the notion that war is full of heroism and romance.
Blue figures began to drop. Some fell down at the feet of their companions. Others, wounded, moved away; but many lay still, their bodies turned into impossible shapes. The youth looked around for his friend. He saw him. The lieutenant, also, was in his position in the rear. He had continued to curse, but with a voice rapidly growing weak. The colonel came running along behind the line. There were other officers following him. We must attack! they shouted. We must attack! They had strained voices, as if expecting a refusal by the men. The youth, upon hearing the shouts, began to study the distance between him and the enemy. He made a guess. He saw that to be firm soldiers they must go forward. It would be death to stay in the present place. Their hope was to push the enemy away from the fence. He expected that his companions would have to be forced to make this attack. But as he turned toward them, he saw that they were giving quick and unquestioning expressions of approval. At the words of command, the soldiers began to push forward in eager leaps. There was new and unexpected force in the movement of the regiment. It was a blind and despairing rush by the men in dusty blue, over grass and under a bright sky, toward a fence. From behind it spoke the fierce guns of the enemy.
The youth was shocked. He discovered that the distances, compared with the large measurings in his mind, were small indeed. The trees, where much had happened, seemed unbelievably near. The time,too, he realized, had been short. He wondered about the emotions and events that had been crowded into such little spaces. Tricks played by the thoughts of the moment must have enlarged everything, he felt. It seemed then that there was some bitter justice in the speeches of the other regiment. He looked down upon his friends lying upon the ground, breathless with dust and heat. They were drinking from their canteens, fierce to get every drop of water. However, to the youth there was considerable joy in thinking of his own performances during the attack. There had been very little time before in which to admire himself, so now there was much satisfaction in quietly thinking of his actions. He remembered things that in the battle had sunk unnoticed into his mind.
If she allows talk about how he was inexperienced writer talking about the touchy subject of war and not getting anyone’s opinion who have experienced war.
Topic #4 -Writing Style
Stephen Crane uses a contemporary writing style which means that it is based in a realistic setting and uses a style. This also means that there is either a hidden or open meaning of World politics for example the civil war a real time and still affects politics to this day
Topic #5- Something About Ourselves
This book shows something that many all can relate to, this shows book shows the change of Henry from a boy to a man he experiences this as a soldier. All people have some point in there life when they realize that they become an adult. This is caused usually by something that you do wrong. There are many coming of age stories but none show coming of age like it is shown in Red Badge of Courage. This book also shows how at one point in your life you have to leave behind your family and what you know to go somewhere else whether it be to College or a new home many will leave their home to go somewhere out of the ordinary. Usually you leave for something that is better than what you have prior to leaving.
He saw his vivid error, and he was afraid that it would stand before him all his life. He took no share in the chatter of his comrades, nor did he look at them or know them, save when he felt sudden suspicion that they were seeing his thoughts and scrutinizing each detail of the scene with the tattered soldier. Yet gradually he mustered force to put the sin at a distance. And at last his eyes seemed to open to some new ways. He found that he could look back upon the brass and bombast of his earlier gospels and see them truly. He was gleeful when he discovered that he now despised them. With the conviction came a store of assurance. He felt a quiet manhood, nonassertive but of sturdy and strong blood. He knew that he would no more quail before his guides wherever they should point. He had been to touch the great death, and found that, after all, it was but the great death. He was a man. (573)
This scene shows Henry realizing that he is a man this scene also shows Henry realizing the error in his ways. Henry knows that he cannot look at the people who fought while he stood watch the same way because of what he did in the war
He felt that in this crisis his laws of life were useless. Whatever he had learned of himself was here of no avail. He was an unknown quantity. He saw that he would again be obliged to experiment as he had in early youth. He must accumulate information of himself, and meanwhile he resolved to remain close upon his guard lest those qualities of which he knew nothing should everlastingly disgrace him. (480)
This passage shows Henry’s fear of leaving and having the courage to fight. He is worried about leaving what he knows behind him and that scares him. This show’s the life lesson that all people go through something where they leave something behind to go somewhere that will turn them into manhood.
Topic #6 learning
The Red Badge of Courage is based during the American Civil War, one of the most influential wars in American history. In this story you learn about what a soldier at that time was going through, how many died and if they didn’t die they experienced a friends death. Although Red Badge of Courage is not completely accurate but it still shows how the American Civil War was a tough time for many and it was an awful time. You also learn how many soldiers not just Henry way have ran away from the fight and it was a mistake for them to enlist. There were many cowards in the war and I don’t blame them because they had the courage to enlist even though they didn’t end up fighting.
The Title of the book Red Badge of Courage is named what it is because on page 518 it is stated wishes that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage.(518)This quote makes it seem like the Red Badge of Courage is a medal of some sort, but really, it is just the blood that is coming at of the wound . This is an appropriate title name because this is what Henry wishes to receive but, for this you have to have courage not cowardice. Henry ends up being shot by a union soldier and pretends that he was hit by a confederate this is the ultimate form of cowardice because Henry is a coward. One alternative for a name could be Courageses Cowardly face. This would be appropriate because Henry represents someone who wishes to be courageous but he is to cowardly to fight in the Civil War. This title also could mean that Henry is two faced. Another possible name for the book could be Internal wounds of war this means that war could not only leave the scars on the inside but the life lessons that you learn on the inside.
One thing that I enjoyed in this book was the reality of war I had never read a book that goes into so much detail about war I have seen movies but I have never read about war. Reading about a war story is different than watching one, when watching a movie the picture is right there but when reading a book you imagine it with the detail that is given to you. I also really like how the story doesn’t get me attached to the characters it gets me more attached to the details and what is going on around the characters.
Topic #9 Dislikes
I disliked how the language of the story was hard to follow and how at some points you didn’t realize what was going on. At some points of the story I didn’t know if Henry was dreaming or if he was in a battle. Also at some points of the story you don’t know where Henry and the other Troops are at. This may be because I am not used to the language at this time period or it could be because I am not used to reading a book with a format like this.
Comparison Of The Red Badge of Courage and The Veteran
The Red Badge of Courage and 1896 “The Veteran” perpetuate Henry’s psychological isolation through a young soldier’s inner monologue of the Civil War, paralleling the isolation both sides of the War Between the States feel and the isolation of America from the world after it reestablishes itself during the Progressive Era via the waves of renewed nationalist sentiment. Stephen Crane’s utilization of multiple metaphors make an appearance in the novel and in the short story: Jim Conklin as romanticism of war, Henry Fleming’s mother as disillusionment with war, a box as the army, slaves as soldiers, a wound as courage, a prophet as Henry, and a flower as confidence. These metaphors showcase a wide variety of axioms of during that particular zeitgeist: the hope that going into war will lead one to glory; the disappointment of going into war; the paranoia and fear that comes with war; the arduous life of a soldier and the misinformation present throughout; the deceitful and cunning means people use to earn fame; the arrogance permeating the atmosphere; and the eventual reappearance of America on the global stage..
An allusion to supernatural forces illustrates to us the clout of war and the terrestrial, claustrophobic, biblical, and supernatural imageries combine to show the isolationary power of war. The Red Badge of Courage begins with “a tall soldier” declaring that their regiment will ‘move t’ morrah-sure.’ Later on, “the youth (Henry Fleming) discovered that his tall comrade had been the fast-flying messenger of a mistake.” The tall soldier, Jim Conklin, serves as a metaphor for the romanticism and high hopes of glory and fame that many associate with war. His initial declaration that the regiment will finally march excites many of the soldiers as they feel tired of sitting around, and the discovery that the the rumor was false disappoints the soldiers. The disappointment reflects the discouragement many soldiers feel after realizing that war stories glamorize and obscure the reality of it.
In regards to the zeitgeist, the metaphor of Jim Conklin as romanticism of war relates to the many, many soldiers that choose to enlist because they feel that they will receive fame, glory, and praise. However, once fighting many soldiers realize that their dreams may not be fulfilled, causing many to desert out of fear as they realize that in death they may not be identified and will receive no glory. Henry Fleming’s mother serves as the binary metaphor. In her description, she seems to be characterized by her distaste for war: “But his mother had discouraged him. She had affected him to look with some contempt upon the quality of his war ardor and patriotism.” His mother’s hindrance in his beliefs temporarily blinds him from his ambition of enlisting in the war. Her disillusionment with war serves as a metaphor for the many naysayers that do not believe in romanticizing war or spreading false hopes about it, therefore this metaphor acts as the direct binary, or opposite, to the metaphor of Jim Conklin. This metaphor pertains a relevant meaning to the time period as it relates to the fear and anxiety many felt when the army drafts them, as they feel fearful about their fate.
Together, the contrasting metaphors of Jim Conklin as romanticism of war and Henry’s mother as disillusionment with war paint the landscape of the Civil War as one with vastly contrasting viewpoints, including the two totally opposite sides of the war, the Confederacy and the Union and the opposite viewpoints within one side, those who face war in a stoic manner and those who flee due to fear. Henry first feels psychologically isolated from his fellow soldiers due to his concerns regarding his fear of the battle, and whether they will run or not: “His emotions made him feel strange in the presence of men who talked excitedly of a prospective battle as of a drama they were about to witness… He did not pass such thoughts without severe condemnation of himself… He was convicted by himself of many shameful crimes against the gods of traditions.” The phrase “gods of traditions” alludes to supernatural forces, or deities watching their actions. The allusion to supernatural forces suggests the extreme clout of the decision he will make.
The allusion of gods as clout applies to the waves of newfound nationalist sentiment that many experience during the Progressive Era, which causes the civil, technical, scientific, and economic advancement of the United States. This era greatly advances the US as amazing leaps in science and technology occur. All the advancements made during the Progressive Era isolate the US due to its newfound place of clout in the world. The terrestrial imagery (“river,” “sky,” “horse”) produces a desolate mood, as the adoption of an organic setting creates a feeling of being alone, as felt by Henry, paralleling the loneliness of the nation. The desolate mood relates to the zeitgeist as it accurately sums up the feelings of many Americans during the War Between the States. The War Between the States has a name in history as the deadliest battle America faces, due to the fact that it throws Americans versus one another, some on the side of the Union and some on the side of the Confederacy. Slavery, and the abolishment of it, can be known as the major premise over which the war occurs.
In this facet of the times, the desolate mood takes on a new meaning when examining the reasoning behind the reluctance of the Confederacy to abolish slavery. This reluctance, or even stubborn refusal, can be explained by the deep-rooted, indoctrinated capitalism ingrained in the minds of the Americans. This indoctrinated capitalism causes them, but doesn’t excuse them, to stay firm in their obstinacy of using slaves for profit. Profit that comes from the glory of returning from war comes with the price of fear, which Henry Fleming learns. Fear strikes Henry in the following scene: “But he instantly saw that it would be impossible for him to escape from the regiment. And there were iron laws of tradition and law on four sides. He was in a moving box.” This metaphor of the army as a box shows Henry’s paranoia and fear after joining the army and facing his first battle.
The metaphor of a box producing paranoia and fear reflects the zeitgeist of fear, particularly during the Civil War. This metaphor contains claustrophobic imagery (“box,” “iron,” “sides”) that produce a paranoid and anxious mood. The fear seen from the metaphor and the mood applies to many different aspects of the war: the soldiers’ fear for their lives, the Confederacy and Union’s fear of losing to the other, the nation’s collective fear of not surviving as a whole, and all the enslaved peoples’ fear of slavery persisting. At the time, all these fears contribute to the overall paranoia permeating the atmosphere. The paranoia make many to act out in various ways. The people who feel afraid of losing their profit due to the abolishment of slavery cling to various falsehoods, such as that the Bible proclaims that Africans should be considered of lesser worth or that their race consists of genetically inferior beings as compared to the whites.
The enslaved people who fear for their lives being spent in shackles begin to take desperate measures to escape, or attempt to buy their way to freedom. Freedom can be taken for granted by those who have never experienced a lack of it, which can be seen in the following: “The slaves toiling in the temple of this god began to feel rebellion at his harsh tasks.” The metaphor of soldiers as slaves utilizes an extreme scenario in order to describe the severe and arduous labor they must undergo. This metaphor describing extreme labor pertains to the Progressive Era as reform in workplaces exists as a major goal. Those advocating for the progressive Era believe that workplaces need reform as they have incredibly rigid rules for incredibly little profit on the part of the workers. The metaphor can be seen here as the extreme labor becomes recognized by those who wish to further the Progressive Era and wish to reform the issues. However, the terminology of “slaves toiling” suggests a woeful lack of knowledge on the part of Henry, as his joining the military came about voluntarily while slavery came about forcefully and involuntarily on the part of the slaves.
This suggests that citizens of the time, even those anti-slavery, did not fully understand the toils and hardships of being a slave. In this way, the metaphor of slaves as soldiers has a dual purpose, that of expressing the intensely hazardous lifestyle of a soldier and that of showing the woefully misinformed lifestyles many lead during the time period. The first mention of the book’s namesake occurs in Chapter 9: “He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage.” This metaphor of a wound as courage expresses Henry’s innermost desire to be brave and shine in battle, for the glory he would receive for it all. This reflects the axiom of the zeitgeist that glory and receiving credit for actions makes anything and everything worth it. This sheds light on the indoctrinated capitalism that has become so deeply rooted into the American culture at the 19th century, that Americans feel willing to undergo pain, suffering, and possibly even death to make a profit or gain recognition.
However, the “red badge of courage” acts as an ironic metaphor as Henry wishes for a wound to prove his bravery although he ran from the battle. The irony of this metaphor reveals yet another angle to the meaning, as it divulges how Americans voluntarily commit heinous and deceitful acts for fame and glory. After seeing how awful the system has become, eradication of corruption in the government becomes a main goal of the Progressive Era. The Progressive Era seeks to overcome many of the problems created by the Gilded Age, a time period occurring directly before and slightly overlapping with the Progressive Era. The Gilded Age can be called as such due to the covering-up of the problems at the time, or gilding them. Congress during the Gilded Age can be considered rowdy, wild, and filled to the brim with corruption, all because the politicians wish for fame and glory, even through deceitful means, not realizing they will isolate themselves in the future due to their actions in the present. Therefore, the Progressive Era attempts to amend this, among other, issues of the Gilded Age.
Full of empty figureheads and politicians, the characters of the Gilded Age manage to isolate themselves due to their belief in their own power, similarly to this passage: “He thought it would prove, in a manner, that he had fled early because of his superior powers of perception. A serious prophet upon predicting a flood should be the first man to climb a tree. This would demonstrate that he was indeed a seer.” This belief on the part of Henry demonstrates how he believes himself as better than the other soldiers due to his decision to flee the battle, which he perceives as an excellent choice. The metaphor of the prophet as Henry serves to show how Henry believes, arrogantly, that he has definitely made the right decision. Prophets can usually be regarded as being heralds of truth, and Henry holds himself in this esteem as well, tainting the passage with arrogance, which parallels the arrogance seen all throughout the zeitgeist: during the Civil War both the Confederacy and the Union believe themselves as correct, during the Gilded Age all the corrupt politicians believe themselves as correct, and during the Progressive Era both supporters and naysayers believe themselves as correct. The passage contains biblical imagery (“prophet,” “flood,” “seer”) creating an authoritative mood.
This authoritative mood furthers the arrogance of the metaphor as it demonstrates how Henry feels obstinately confident in his cowardly decision. Once again, in regards to the time period, the authoritative mood parallels how everyone believes only in their point of view, managing to isolate themselves from one another through their various different veils on the world. The world sees America begin to blossom once more after the Civil War and the Progressive Era. A parallel of this occurs when: “There was a little flower of confidence growing within him… He had been out among the dragons… A stout heart often defied, and, defying, escaped.” The metaphor of “a little flower” as confidence shows how Henry’s faith in himself, when viewed without all his pompadour, does not amount to a great deal. However, just like a budding seedling, his confidence in his own abilities gradually increases. As previously stated, this metaphor of gradual increase parallels America’s budding re-arrival to the global stage. The War Between the States shakes up America due to the fact that the war occurs between itself, making it the deadliest war in America, with the highest death toll of Americans.
This American on American infighting creates sentiments of hostility that reverberate throughout all of America, some still lasting to this day. This war manages to effectively isolate America from the rest of the world due to its inability to participate in global matters as it consists of two governments. After the war ends, and once the Progressive Era has begun, America manages to piece itself back together and rejoin as a major player on the global platform. On a global scale, no matter how united countries may seem, each still protects its own best interests, and therefore each always somewhat isolates and shrouds itself. This can be seen in the short story “The Veteran,” a sequel to The Red Badge of Courage: “Old Fleming stared absentmindedly at the open doors… He rushed into the barn. When the roof fell in, a great funnel of smoke swarmed toward the sky, as if the old man’s mighty spirit, released from its body- a little bottle-had swelled like the genie of fable.” In this passage, “Old Fleming,” or Henry Fleming, runs into a barn despite the fire to save two colts. In his final moments, Henry decides to attempt glory one last time despite knowing and understanding the dangers. The supernatural imagery (“genie,” “smoke,” “spirit”) promotes a lonely mood. Henry’s death, described in a surreal manner, truly and totally isolates him from the rest as it separates him from the bystanders, humans. The lonely mood can be considered contemporaneous to that time period as all people of the time truly feel alone. The United States, during the War Between the States, isolates itself from the rest of itself and the North and South isolate themselves from each other. During the Progressive Era, newfound waves of nationalist sentiment spur America to isolate itself as a global superpower, as it looks out for its interests only. Countries, especially now in the 21st century, appear to be just self interested and unwilling to help unless a profit can be materialized. However, isolation in our time appears on a much, much smaller scale as well. As humans, social media barrages our daily lives and causes us to simply take interest in our own lives and how to better broadcast our lives to the world. This isolation deprives us of the real communication humans crave, and yet do not seek out. Isolation also exists in the form of greed, we can be willing to do almost anything in the name of self preservation, revealing the profound effect isolation has had on us.
A Review Of Red Badge of Courage
The red badge of courage is written by Stephen Crane. This wonderful novel is published by touch stone classic in 1895 The red badge of courage is a really good book for anyone that loves a good realistic fiction novel based on the struggles of war.this book is also a very accurate representation of what the civil war might of been like.he book takes place in an unnamed civil war battle the author, Stephen Crane did not used a specific battle or time period. The story starts off by introducing Henry Fleming and his 304th regiment from new york.
Jim Conklin is a tall soldier that tells others that he overheard the general saying they, in the near future might be going to war. Some soldiers in the 304th regiment didn’t believe the news and started to not like the infantryman because they would try to guess what was happening. Henry Fleming gets excited for battle. Henry Fleming enlisted behind his moms back. he had enlisted against his mother’s will.he began story feel scared of the thought of war. When the regiment went to war they were in position and all Henry could think about is finding a way to get out of the war.
The enemy started to attack his regiment and Henry flees. After the attack Henry finds a dead body and gets scared so he runs and joins a large group of retreating wounded soldiers. He was walking next to a badly injured man and the man started to question his disability. Henry felt bad because the man was hurt and Henry wasn’t so Henry tried to get away from Him. Henry started to think that was a simple of pride and he wanted his out injury to show his courageousness. He called the wound the red badge of courage. Henry gets injured by a fellow soldier while he was trying to escape. After his head healed up he was ready to fight. When his regiment returned to battle Henry went crazy shooting at everything. People even were stunned with his courage. He heard people talk badly about his regeneration and got mad and was going to prove them wrong.
On one of there last battles there color guard was killed so Henry took the regiments flag and carried it himself. His last fight is when he was sent to overwhelm the enemy soldiers and a man by the name of Wilson captured the bad guys flag. On the way back Henry fills guilty but comes to terms with himself and lived in solitude.
Henry Fleming: is the main character in this novel. He has manny struggles in this story of war.The strategic ways of war led Henry to the combat zone. When he joined the union force, he immediately became scared and he felt as if he should run away. He tried to find ways to get off the feild of battle. The author describes Henry as a young soldier. At the start of the book Henry Fleming is mad at himself because he was such a coward. Henry became more courageous as the book goes on and finally gets on the battle feild.As he gazed around him the youth felt a flash of astonishment at the blue, pure sky and the sun gleaming on the trees and fields. It was surprising that Nature had gone tranquilly on with her golden process in the midst of so much devilment. (Ch.5, p. 50.) when Henry sees the courage of his fellow troops he gets jealous of them and wants to become what they were.”At times he 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.” (Chapter 9, pg. 55).
The people in his regiment get upset that he is such a coward and they talk badly about him. In the darkness he saw visions of a thousand-tongued fear that would babble at his back and cause him to flee, while others were going coolly about their country’s business. (Narrator, Chapter 2) Henry dislikes the badly injured man because he keeped asking him about his injuries. Henry wants to receive an injury and wants to be the leader of his regiment.He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage. (Narrator, Chapter 9) Henry’s only weakness is his cowardness and how it was shown is when he desperately wanted to get away from the field of battle.It had suddenly appeared to him that perhaps in a battle he might run. (Narrator, Chapter 1) I think that personality I think the author developed the Character very well because of the amount of detail That was in the story to built his character.The youth perceived that the time had come. He was about to be measured. For a moment, he felt in the face of his great trial like a babe, and the flesh over his heart seemed very thin. (Narrator, Chapter 3)
The author did not write about any religious beliefs and Henry discovered later on in the book that it wasn’t right for him to not do any of the fighting. And instead do whatever he could to fight along side of his fellow soldiers. It is a temporary but sublime absence of selfishness. (Narrator, Chapter 19) I think that some of Henry’s Traits apply to me as well because at the beginning of the book he was scared once he was face-to-face with battle but towards the end he overcame that and was very courageous how that applies to me is sometimes I am scared of something new or something they’re not familiar with but once I start doing it I get very used to it very quickly. Overall I would definitely become friends with Henry Fleming because of all the things he had to overcome and some of the stuff that happened tell them achieve his courage would definitely help me overcome some stuff in my life.
Main Character In The Red Badge of Courage
Stephen Crane’s 1895 novel The Red Badge of Courage, conveys the fictional story of a young soldier named Henry. The setting takes place during the years 1861-1865. The American Civil War is taking place because of the ongoing conflict between the northern states and the southern slave owning states.
Henry is certain to join the war. Throughout the novel, Henry shows a great deal of development and maturity as a soldier. There are drastic changes in his comportment and character due to the things he encounters. For the duration of this revision, Henry’s sensations array from glory, distress, melancholy, fury, elation, bravery and finally to integrity. His comportment and character transform from innocence to understanding, in essence from disbelief to responsibility.
When Henry is first introduced as the main character, he is an arrogant and self-centered young fellow who enlists for the army for the reason being that he believes it will bring him glory. Henry is determined to go to war despite the fact that his mother does not approve of his decision. The self-centered nature of this pursuit for glory is emphasized by his disobedience to his mother who worries for his well-being and pleads for him not to go. Egotistical Henry disregards her and goes away on his desperate journey to find his glory. Soon enough, he is forced to face realism and all his desires for glory begin to faded away.
Henry is consumed by a tremendous fearfulness. His fear is so great that he begins to believe “it would better to get killed quickly and end his troubles.” Although he was extremely afraid at first, he is able to regain assurance when he joins his fellow soldiers to maintain the line. Because he was able to put aside his self-centeredness and became part of the unit, he was able to survive the battle. The ability to become part of something larger and set aside one’s own ego is one of the main markers of maturity.
Main Ideas Of The Red Badge of Courage
The title of the book is The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, an American Writer from the late 17 centuries.
Stephen Crane published The Red Badge of Courage in 1895.
The Red Badge of Courage took place during the Civil War; however, Crane never mentions an exact time or place. The controversy of the enslavement of African Americans was the main cause of the Civil War, so for Henry Fleming to be fighting for the North and be successful in battle, it made him realize his courageousness.
The theme of The Red Badge of Courage, is that courage does not represent how well or how strongly you do something, but is that you get done what needs to get done. Even if your scared or it seems impossible, your task gets done. In the beginning of the novel, Henry’s own definition of Courage, is that he believes courage correlates to masculinity and how heroic someone is. As the story progresses, Henry realizes that courage is completing the tasks given to you with dedication and willingness to serve.
Henry Fleming is the main character and is a teenager in America fighting for the Union Army. Henry doesn’t understand the idea of Courage, and has many encounters through the novel that makes him understand the real truth about war and death.
Henry’s Mother is only shown in Henry’s flashbacks, she is the reason that Henry comes across the ideas of how little his existence is, compares Henry’s ideas of war to the realities, and advises him not to join the war.
Wilson was Henry’s friend who went through some rough times during the war together. Wilson at first was very out there, loud, and wanted to be seen as a tough guy. As the story progresses, and he goes through some traumatic experiences with battle and his family, he becomes sympathetic.
Jim Conklin is a friend of Wilson and Henry that fights in the war with them. He is a quiet and down-to-earth man. In any situation he is put in, he always stays to himself and doesn’t let others emotions and opinions affect him.
The Tattered Soldier was put into the narrative to show a parallel to Henry’s feeling of guilt. Henry showed guilt because he ran away, instead of fighting, and is not living up to his mistakes.
The color red is shown throughout the narrative to give a sense of gruesomeness and a dark side to each reference, but mainly it’s symbolism is referring to courage and all the tough and hard things you have to get through to be courageous.
Jim Conklin is almost seen as a Christ figure, and his death parallels to Jesus Christ’s death, because Jim reclaims Henry’s sins and gives him a new chance. Crane puts him in the story to give Henry a second chance and help him become courageous.
Stephen Crane’s tone throughout the narrative is sarcastic and subjective, especially when he is describing Henry’s thoughts.
He, too, threw down his gun and fled. There was no shame in his face. He ran like a rabbit. This passage shows Henry making the decision to flee before battle. This decision gives Henry a start to become the better person and become courageous from this cowardly moment.
The central theme for The Red Badge of Courage is that courage is obtained when you go headstrong into something and complete what needs to be completed. When Henry goes into battle the second time, and goes in with all his might, it demonstrates his courageousness.
Comparison Of the Devil and Tom Walker vs Masque of Red Death
The devil and tom walker and Masque of Red death are similar because both of the stories have an evil undertone, both have a life lesson of Those with wealth ignoring those with less , and lastly they were both written in the romanticism era .The differences between the two stories are the approach of death, the setting of the stories and the authors and their perspectives.
Both the stories The devil and tom walker and The masque of red death have evil undertones. In the devil and tom walker a good quote that shows an evil undertone is Tom lost his patience and his piety. the devil take me, and said he, if i have made a farthing!. In the masque of red death the quote and now was acknowledged the presence of red death. He had come like a thief in the night is showing an evil undertone because it has been known that there is a dark presence there that no one noticed until that point. Another similarity in between the two stories are those with wealth ignoring those with less in tom in the devil, toms wife gets so greedy she ignores her husbands wishes and goes to find the money at length she determined to drive the bargain on her own account, and if she succeeded, to keep all the gain to herself. In the masque of red death, the man in the mask is seen as less so the wealthy people don’t pay attention to what he is doing, they just want him out. Who dares,”–he demanded hoarsely of the courtiers who stood near him–“who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him–that we may know whom we have to hang, at sunrise, from the battlements!. The last similarity of The devil and Tom walker and masque of red death is they were both written in the romanticism era. the devil and tom walker was created in 1924 while the masque of red death was created in 1842. The romanticism era time period was from the mid 1800’s to the mid 1900’s.
Despite the similarities these two stories also have many differences. one of the differences is the approach of death. one is sudden and unexpected while the other has an approach that was lead up to. in the masque of red death there are many rooms that the people are taken into. the last room is a room of death. rushed hurriedly through the six chambers, while none followed him on account of a deadly terror that had seized upon all. In the devil and tom walker, tom encounters a man in the woods who claims he could give him all for his soul. Tom goes out to be Religious and turn his life around but at the end of the story ruins it all and was never seen again. Tom Walker never returned to foreclose the mortgage. A countryman, who lived on the border of the swamp, reported that in the height of the thunder-gust he had heard a great clattering of hoofs and a howling along the road, and running to the window caught sight of a figure. Another difference between these two stories are their settings. A few miles from Boston, in Massachusetts, there is a deep inlet winding several miles into the interior of the country from Charles Bay, and terminating in a thickly wooded swamp or morass in the devil and tom walker, tom and his wife didn’t have much. They were living in a low area out in the country In the masque of red death the story takes place in a nice building filled with many extraordinary objects and wealthy people. The apartments were so irregularly disposed that the vision embraced but little more than one at a time. The apartments were so irregularly disposed that the vision embraced but little more than one at a time.. the last difference between these two stories are the authors perspectives. in the masque of red death Edgar Allan poe’s perspective was more on the intense, suspense side. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal the madness and the horror of blood.. in the devil and tom walker Washington Irving’s perspective was more of a lesson or just a simple story.
In conclusion these stories are both a good read with the similarities of those with wealth ignore those with less, the romanticism era, evil undertones and with the differences of approach of death, the authors perspective and the settings of the stories
Symbols In the Masque of the Red Death
In the Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, the rooms and the colors of the rooms play a big role in the story. Each room has its own color that symbolizes something different. Some people think the rooms stand for the seven stages of the life of a man.
Other people think the rooms symbolize different emotions. While some think the colors symbolize the life of a man from when he is a baby to when he dies. Some people think the ebony clock plays a role in telling the characters in the story when they are going to die and when the Red Death finds its way into the elaborate castle.
Another theory about the rooms is that they stand for the seven deadly sins a person can commit. The first room which was blue in color. Which stands for the first stage of a man’s life. The birth of the man. This room was also on the far east side of the hallway of rooms. Which could symbolize the rising of the sun in the east in the morning. This room could also symbolize one of the seven deadly sins and this room being blue in color would symbolize sloth which means the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. This is the room Prince Prospero spent most of his time in. So the red death when it entered the elaborate castle started in the blue room then prince prospero got enraged at himself and chased the spirit of the red death through all of the other rooms to try and kill it. Which ultimately is the reason Prince Prospero was the first to be killed in the story.
The second room that Prince Prospero chased the red death through was the room which was purple in color. Which stands for the second stage of a man’s life which is youth. This room also can stand for the next part of the day when the sun is about half wa to its noon time position. It could also stand for another one of the seven deadly sins which is pride which is when you have an excessive beliefs in your own abilities like prince prospero when he was chasing the red death with a knife he took from one of his guards in the blue room, which. Which leads us to the next room in the story. The third room that Prince Prospero chased the red death through was the room which was green in color. Which stands for the third stage of a man’s life which is adolescence. This room can also stand for the position the sun reaches in the day which would be when the sun is right before its noon time position. It could also stand for another one of the seven deadly sins which is envy that means that you have a desire for other people’s things or possessions they have that you want. Prince Prospero also chases the red death through this room which leads of to the fourth room.
The fourth room the Prince Prospero chases the red death through was the room which was orange in color. ThisWhich stands for the next stage of a man’s life which is adulthood. This room can also stand for the next position the sun reaches in the sky which be about where the sun is at, at about 1:30 or 2:00 in the afternoon. The rooms color could also stand for one of the seven deadly sins and this room would stand for the sin of gluttony which is when you have the desire to consume more than you require. Prince Prospero then chases the red death out of this room and into the fifth room of the hallaway.
The fifth room that Prince Prospero chases the red death through was the room that is white in color. Which would stand for the stage in a man’s life which is when the man is in his 60’s. This room can also stand for the next position the sun reaches in the day that would be when the sun is at, at about 4 o’clock. It could also stand for another one of the seven deadly sins. This room would stand for the deadly sin of lust which means craving for the pleasures of the body. Prince Prospero chases the Red Death out of this room and into the next room in the hallway.
The sixth room Prince Prospero chases the Red Death into is the room that is violet in color. Which could stand for the next stage in a man’s life which is when the man retires from work. It could also stand for the next position the sun reaches. Which would be about 6:30 P.M.. It could also stand for the next one of the seven deadly sins. The room would stand for the deadly sin of pride which is when you have an excessive belief in your own abilities. Prince Prospero chases the Red Death out of this room and into the final room.
The seventh and final room Prince Prospero chases the red death into is the room that is black in color and has scarlet tinted windows. It also stands for the death of the man. This roo would stand for the sun position when the sun is down. It would stand for the deadly sin of anger which is when you look to fight instead of letting the problem be or leave it alone. This is the room the red death kills everyone in. I believe the color of the room play a role in the story because if the rooms didn’t have any color to them then how would you tell the difference between them or distinguish any thing that they would stand for. Also the rooms colors kind of lead to how the party goers are going to die and what room they are going to die in. The rooms overall play a big part in the story and the colors help add to the effect of the story.
- The Masque of the Red Death. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Sept. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Masque_of_the_Red_Death.
- Poe, Edgar Allan, Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes. Pearson Prentice Hall 2005 82-87