Stephen Crane: The Literary Red Badge

1054 words - 5 pages

Stephan Crane within The Red Badge of Courage once said: “The men dropped here and there like bundles. The captain of the youth's company had been killed in an early part of the action. His body lay stretched out in the position of a tired man resting, but upon his face there was an astonished and sorrowful look, as if he thought some friend had done him an ill turn.” (Source ). The quote, from The Red Badge of Courage, helps support the mere fact that Crane was one of America’s finest authors of the Realism movement. The Realism movement was alive from the 1860s-the 1900s. Its style ...view middle of the document...

This is due to his controversial writings. His first book, Maggie, involved so much realism and graphic material about a prostitute starving in the slums of New York City, that Crane couldn’t find a publisher, and published the book at his own cost. Of course, however, with that much controversy behind one of America’s greatest authors, leads to even more critical works upon his work.
The critical work in particular I will be talking about is titled: Critical Insights: The Red Badge of Courage, and is by Patrick K. Dooley. Overall, Dooley enjoys Crane’s work and praises his literary skills. He also talks about religious, naturalistic, and other kinds of symbolism within the novel. I agree with Dooley, because of which he poses both sides of arguments about every part of controversy within the story, presents how Crane went about writing the novel, and how the world was shaped by The Red Badge of Courage. “Edward Stone (1964), who argues that life as a ‘pilgrim's progress’ is a prominent motif of Crane's novel. William R. Linneman, on the other hand, while sidestepping Stallman's claims regarding religious symbolism, hails his choice of the wafer as an especially pregnant image in Crane's narrative.” (Dooley ¶ 21). This quote helps support my agreement of this critical work, as I believe credible sources of critical works give leeway toward the opposition. “As an outgrowth of Crane's extraordinarily accurate depictions of combat, scholars have long been occupied with identifying the historical sources on which he drew while writing the novel.” (Dooley ¶ 18). This puts my agreement upon how the critical work is credible, as it even discusses how other scholars go about finding facts and details untold by the novel. “The contemporary reaction to Red Badge was immediate and nearly universally enthusiastic. Crane's book was quickly a best seller on both sides of the Atlantic, and a mere six months after it appeared it was seventh in sales in England and second in the United States (Hackett 96).” (Dooley ¶ 11). This...

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