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__________________________Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

 


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

The Red Badge of Courage

Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 20-24

 

Summary:

CHAPTER 20
The two soldiers scuffle for possession of the flag as the regiment retreats and advances. Henry feels choked and burning but does not share in the general panic. In hand-to-hand fighting, the soldiers rally round the flag, and Henry feels proud that if they are to be defeated they will die fighting.

CHAPTERS 21-22
There is a lull in the battle and the soldiers return to their encampment. When Henry hears two officers praising the flag-bearers, and hears his name mentioned, he thrills with pride. When the soldiers emerge to pursue the enemy, Henry still carries the flag, resolved not to give it up.

CHAPTER 23
The colonel commands the regiment to charge, and Henry, with the flag, stays near the front, urging the men on. He sees the rival color-bearer wounded but fighting furiously. The Union soldiers attack, capture the flag, and take four prisoners.

CHAPTER 24
Slowly the soldiers realize that the fury has all but ceased. Henry wonders "What now?" as the regiment marches back along the corpse-strewn ground. Fate has been kind to Henry. He feels humble in the face of his triumph and his guilt, but the sky, he thinks, the sky will forget. He smiles as he sees the world as a world for him, now that he has rid himself of the red sickness of battle. He turns to images of tranquil skies, fresh meadows, cool brooks, peace.

 

Review:

Henry always stayed in the front and encouraged the other soldiers to fight harder showing much courage. He was complimented by the Colonel, but despite his victory, he still feels guilty about deserting his regiment the day before.

The dominant philosophy in this book was that Henry and his fellow soldiers were not in complete control of their actions during the heat of battle. They fought despite the risk of death not because of their love for their country but for adrenaline, while the soldiers who deserted did so not because of apathy for their country, but for the fear of the moment.



 

  • Biography of Stephen Crane

  • Quick/Fast Review

  • Character List

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 1-6

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 7-9

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 10-12

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 13-15

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 16-19

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 20-24

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