In the novel, The Red Badge of Courage, Henry thinks that "Nature was not quite ready to kill him." What does he mean and why does he think that?The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the novel, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, nature is a force, an impersonal force which does not choose.  When Henry thinks that "Nature was not quite ready to kill him", he means it literally.  Crane was trying to show the horrors of the Civil War  in all its deadly realism,  and nature is not a force for good. Crane believes in the naturalistic indifference of nature and when Henry says this, he believes he has survived because he has escaped deadly nature and its indifference to his life. He finds the beautiful glen  but finds only death-the dead body of a Union soldier.  He thinks this because the death around him seems so random, and the deaths of Jim Conklin and the "tattered soldier" make him realize he is lucky to be alive.

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