The Red Badge of Courage Questions and Answers
by Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What does "his visions of broken-bladed glory" mean in The Red Badge of Courage?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write12,051 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Henry has visions of performing heroic deeds on the field of battle. A young man without any direct experience of conflict, he romanticizes war, seeing it as an adventure, a glorious, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prove his manhood.

Although the weapon of choice in the Civil War is the rifle, Henry still entertains boyish fantasies of engaging the enemy with swords, just like the knights of old. He doubtless imagines himself achieving glory in conflict by cutting down one enemy combatant after another with his trusty sword until, eventually, its blade breaks, proving his extraordinary courage and showing his admiring comrades just how hard he's fought.

But as Henry will soon discover, to his horror, the harsh realities of war are very different from his romantic fantasies. To be sure, he will still become a big hero, but not in the way he imagined. There will be no broken blades.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial