The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

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What are the major events between chapters 1-6 in "The Red Badge of Courage"? What are some of the emotions during these chapters?

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troutmiller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This reading is about Henry's feelings and his state of mind before going into battle, his first war experiences, and when he flees from the battle.  This is Henry's first real experience off the farm, and he comes into this war feeling pretty proud and confident.  He's ready to fight and be a hero.  However, the reality is hitting him when they are arguing over moving the regiment out of the area since they've been there a few months.  Henry is torn between how he should feel as a soldier and how he truly feels now that the reality has sunken in.  He is afraid.  He speaks with Jim Conklin, and he learns that Jim will run if everyone else runs, too.  But his job is to stay and fight.  Knowing that Jim will run makes Henry feel like he's not alone after all.  So his feelings go back and forth between duty and fear.  Henry continues feeling torn up until the point of actual battle.  Not knowing how he would fare, Henry fights bravely and feels proud that he stood up and fought for his first actual experience at war.  However, the enemy surges back unexpectedly and Henry sees others run.  He also runs.  He eventually meets up with the general who tells them that they have kept the enemy back.  But because he ran from the front line, Henry cannot join in the celebration.  He feels shame now rather than pride.

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codyb117 | Student

^^ is this more during chapters 1-3 or 3-6?

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