How do the chapters in The Red Badge of Courage show that Wilson is a dynamic character rather than a static one? Cite details for support.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wilson, the Loud Soldier, is one of the most dynamic characters in The Red Badge of Courage. He is in a state of constant change throughout much of the novel. He begins as the Loud Soldier--boastful, cocky and thoroughly sure of himself--in the early chapters until he gets his first taste of action. Just prior to the first Confederate attack, Wilson approaches Henry and tells him that he has just had a premonition that it's "my first and last battle, old boy." He hands Henry a packet of personal belongings, and directs him to deliver them to his family after his death. No more is heard of Wilson until after Henry returns to the regiment. Wilson is now strangely silent. He and Henry, who is perceived to have been wounded in fighting behind the lines, seem to have switched characters: Henry is now the cocksure one, while Wilson becomes quiet and unsure of himself. When the next attack comes, Wilson holds his ground while Henry pursues the enemy as they retreat. The regiment, including Wilson, marvels at Henry's new courage and heroicism.

When the regiment counterattacks, Henry picks up the fallen regimental colors and leads them at the forefront; Wilson follows his friend at the head of the charge. Henry and Wilson are hailed as heroes. On the final attack, Wilson captures the enemy battle flag. He, like Henry, has survived the day and is confident in his behavior as a soldier.

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The Red Badge of Courage

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