The Red Badge of Courage
The Red Badge of Courage is a war novel by American author Stephen Crane. Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private who flees from the field of battle. The novel is known for its distinctive style, which includes realistic battle sequences as well as the repeated use of color imagery, and ironic tone. It is now thought to be Crane’s most important work and a major American text.
About The Red Badge of Courage in brief
The Red Badge of Courage is a war novel by American author Stephen Crane. Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private who flees from the field of battle. The novel is known for its distinctive style, which includes realistic battle sequences as well as the repeated use of color imagery, and ironic tone. It has never been out of print and is now thought to be Crane’s most important work and a major American text. It is believed that Crane based the fictional battle on that of Chancellorsville; he may also have interviewed veterans of the 124th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commonly known as the Orange Blossoms. Crane’s first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, was not a success, neither financially nor critically, and he chose to publish the work privately after it was repeatedly rejected for publication. In early 1894, Crane submitted the manuscript to S. S. McClure, who held on to it for six months without publication. After the author returned the manuscript for publication, McClure asked to be the author for the manuscript. The Red Badge Of Courage: An Episode of the Civil War is published in full in October 1895. A longer version of the work, based on Crane’s original manuscript, was published in 1982. The novel garnered widespread acclaim, what H. G. Wells called “an orgy of praise”, shortly after its publication, making Crane an instant celebrity at the age of twenty-four.
The story is notable for its use of what Crane called a “psychological portrayal of fear”, the novel’s allegorical and symbolic qualities are often debated by critics. Several of the themes that the story explores are maturation, heroism, cowardice, and the indifference of nature. Crane conceived the story from the point of view of a youngPrivate who is at first filled with boyish dreams of the glory of war, only to become disillusioned by war’s reality. He took the private’s surname, “Fleming,” from his sister-in-law’s maiden name. He would later relate that the first paragraphs came to him with “every word in place, every comma, every period fixed. ” Working mostly nights, he wrote from around midnight until four or five in the morning, occasionally overlying a word-sized legal-sized paper. He later moved to New York City, where he later completed the novel in April 1894. The title of the novel was changed to The Red badge of Courage: Private Fleming, in order to create the sense of a less traditional Civil War narrative, but he ultimately changed the title to Private Fleming: An episode of the American civil War, The Red badges of Courage. The book has been adapted several times for the screen, including for the film The Godfather: Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and Part V. It was first published in 1894 and was serialized in newspapers in December 1894; it was published as a book in 1895.