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Red Badge of Courage

             In the novel The Red Badge of Courage, by Steven Crane, the American Civil War is depicted through the eyes of the protagonist Henry Fleming. Henry is a young man who decides to enlist and become a soldier. Henry, who is referred to as "the youth", is very determined to become a hero. This story shows his passage from being a young coward to a brave man. The author uses specific names for each of the individuals based upon certain qualities or traits they display. Crane provides descriptions for the characters in the novel, and in doing so he creates an allegorical atmosphere in which the focus is places on types, not individuals. .
             Henry Fleming is the major character of the novel, who could be any young man experiencing war for the first time. Crane never tells us of his age, appearance, or exactly where he is from. Henry possesses all of the qualities of a young man who enlists into the war. He disobeys his mother's will and decides to fight in the war, expecting that he will return home as a hero. Crane describes Henry's standpoint before the war began by saying, "When he stood in the doorway with his soldier's clothes on his back, and with the light of excitement and expectancy in his eyes almost defeating the glow of regret for the home bonds, he has seen two tears leaving their trails on his mother's scarred cheeks" . Henry finds himself in a predicament, however, when he arrives at the battlefield. He becomes frightened as he discovers a dead corpse lying in the woods. Also, he runs away and hides in the woods, deserting his regiment, when he hears the guns firing back and forth. By this, he has the same behavior as any young man might have, being his first time experiencing the war. Crane points out that he is not a true man yet by referring to Henry as "the youth" throughout the story. .
             Wilson is called "the loud soldier" in the early chapters of The Red Badge of Courage, but later, when he teams up with Henry, he usually appears as "the friend.

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