The Red Badge of Courage Questions and Answers
by Stephen Crane

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Crane repeatedly uses animal images to describe the regiment’s fighting in The Red Badge of Courage. What are the three animals?

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Crane first injects cows into the narrative, beginning with Henry's mother milking one as he tells her of his decision to enlist in the army, and then bringing them in again, in chapter three, when one soldier tells another that he runs "like a cow." Crane is using the image of a herd animal as a comparison to the soldiers as they stampede from gunfire. In chapter five, Henry feels like "a well-meaning cow troubled by dogs."

Dogs are another animal Crane evokes images of in the narrative. In chapter fifteen, Henry complains about the officers treating the troops "like dogs," emphasizing the idea of their service being a dehumanizing experience. In chapter sixteen, he describes himself as unwilling to behave like "a cat hunted by dogs" and observes the advance and retreat pattern of himself and the enemy as "like a dog"...

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