In The Red Badge of Courage, the corporal "had been impressed that they were in a sort of eternal camp." What does this tell readers about the way the corporal feels?

In context, the quotation from The Red Badge of Courage saying that the corporal "had been impressed that they were in a sort of eternal camp" tells readers that the corporal had thought the army was going to remain in the same place indefinitely and, having counted on this, is exasperated by a rumor that they are going to move.

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At the beginning of The Red Badge of Courage , there is a rumor that the army is on the move after a long period in camp. As the soldiers are arguing about the truth of this intelligence, one of the corporals starts to swear. The reason for his annoyance...

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At the beginning of The Red Badge of Courage, there is a rumor that the army is on the move after a long period in camp. As the soldiers are arguing about the truth of this intelligence, one of the corporals starts to swear. The reason for his annoyance is that he has just put new floor in his house. He had delayed making any such improvements throughout the spring, thinking that the army might march at any moment. Now that he has started to rely on the army remaining encamped forever, it appears that he has made an expensive mistake.

All that is revealed by the phrase stating "he had been impressed that they were in a sort of eternal camp" is what the corporal thought, rather than how he felt about it. He might have been pleased or disappointed by the impression he received. However, quoting the whole paragraph makes the corporal's attitude quite clear:

A corporal began to swear before the assemblage. He had just put a costly board floor in his house, he said. During the early spring he had refrained from adding extensively to the comfort of his environment because he had felt that the army might start on the march at any moment. Of late, however, he had been impressed that they were in a sort of eternal camp.

There is a hint in the word "eternal" that the corporal may initially have been somewhat exasperated by the army's inactivity, leading him to use this hyperbole. However, the rest of the paragraph makes it plain that it would now suit the corporal very well if they were to remain in camp indefinitely.

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