Illustration of Henry Fleming in a soldier's uniform in front of a confederate flag and an American flag

The Red Badge of Courage

by Stephen Crane
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Pertinent quotes used in Chapters 21, 22 & 23.

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Ch 21: They speedily forgot many things. The past held no pictures of error and disappointment. They were very happy, and their hearts swelled with grateful affection for the colonel and the youthful lieutenant.

(The Youth and his regiment forget the horror of the conflict insults of the Officer who had disparaged their earlier efforts after the troops receive some compliments.)

Ch 22: At sight of this danger the men suddenly ceased their cursing monotone. There was an instant of strained silence before they threw up their rifles and fired a plumping volley at the foes. There had been no order given; the men, upon recognizing the menace, had immediately let drive their flock of bullets without waiting for word of command.

(The drama and reality of war. How men will act as one, as evidence by the shooting that begins without command and seemingly on instinct.)

Ch 23: The youth had centered the gaze of his soul upon that other flag. Its possession would be high pride. It would express bloody minglings, near blows. He had a gigantic hatred for those who made great difficulties and complications. They caused it to be as a craved treasure of mythology, hung amid tasks and contrivances of danger.

He plunged like a mad horse at it. He was resolved it should not escape if wild blows and darings of blows could seize it. His own emblem, quivering and aflare, was winging toward the other. It seemed there would shortly be an encounter of strange beaks and claws, as of eagles.

(Getting the flag is the ultimate symbol of victory. To capture it will bring great recognition to a soldier)

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