In The Red Badge of Courage, Henry notices that "No one seemed to be wrestling with such a terrific personal problem." Do you think Henry is the only one who is nervous? (Chapters 1-3.)

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Henry is not alone in his anxiety concerning how he will react when he is under fire for the first time. The entire regiment is completely untried, including (probably) most of the officers, so every man there must be asking himself this question. Being more introspective than most of the others, Henry deals with this dilemma inwardly. His conscience bothers him, and he wonders how his behavior will reflect upon his character when the first fight comes. Others, like the loud soldier, spend their time speculating and bragging about what the fight will be like for them. Some, like Jim Conklin, sport a realistic view of what will come. He tells Henry that he may run if everyone else runs, but that he will stand and fight if the rest of the regiment does the same. Although most of the men share these same fears, the boredom of camp is even worse, and nearly all of them are ready to face this first test of their true courage.

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The Red Badge of Courage

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