Describe The Elements Of Death Essay

601 words - 2 pages

Describe the elements of war and death in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage. This book is divided into two parts. In the first part the main characters, Henry Flemings. illusions disappear when confronted by the reality of battle(WAH 642). During the first battle he sees vague figures before him, but they are driven away. In the next battle he is so frightened that he runs away becoming one of the first heroes in literature to actually desert his fellow soldiers in the field.While Henry is separated from his fellow soldiers, he wanders through the forest. There he experiences the kind of illusions that predominate in all of the writings of Crane (WAH 642). First he tells himself that nature does not blame him for running. Next he finds himself in a part of the woods that he believes is religious. The insects are praying and the forest takes the appearance of a chapel. Henry is comfortable with this until he finds a dead soldier in the heart of the "chapel".Henry sees an ant carrying a bundle across the face of the dead soldier. That view is beautiful in the sense of conveying great emotion through minute detail(WAH 643). As he moves back henry sees a line of injured soldiers including his friend Jim Conklin,who is badly wounded and another friend called "the tattered man". Trying to make up for deserting his friends, Henry tries to help Jim Conklin who is dying.After Conklin dies, the tattered man probes deeply into Henry's conscience by repeatedly asking "where ya hit"(Bowers 132). Henry deserts the tattered man.When Henry stops another soldier he asks him the novels most important question which is "why" The soldier hits henry on the head for starting trouble. Ironically this wound becomes...

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