The Red Badge of Courage Questions and Answers
by Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage book cover
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Why doesn't Stephen Crane name all of his characters in "Red Badge of Courage"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of reasons Crane does not name all his characers is because a primary theme of "The Red Badge of Courage " is the anonymity of war, or how the individual is lost in the machinery of combat.  In the opening pages of Section 1, Crane speaks of the army unit as an entity unto itself, telling the reader that "the army awakened", and that "the army might start on the march".  The names of the characters who make up the unit are not...

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sabbapal | Student

The main reason is that in war, you really don't know everyone's name, because it is just such a huge mass of people. It makes the book more realistic, because of the afore mentioned reason.