Discuss the motive of heroism in The Red Badge of Courage.

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the ways that the approach to courage and heroism in The Red Badge of Courage is so powerful is that Henry does not immediately accept his role as a hero or even as a brave soldier.  The description of his inner emotions during the first battle all the way to the last give the reader a clear picture of the emotional battlefield that he fights in so that he can actually approach a battle with something like what people consider outward courage.

With the image of the head wound, the "red badge of courage," Henry's transition to being a brave soldier is complete, but the reader has that clear map of how he got there by challenging his fears and learning to manage them.

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The Red Badge of Courage

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