This is the story of the Civil War through the eyes of Henry Fleming, an ordinary farm boy turned soldier. Marks a departure from the traditional treatment of war in fiction as it captures the sights and sounds of war while creating the intricate inner world of Henry. Probes the personal reactions of unknown foot soldiers fighting unknown enemies. Henry Fleming is motivated not by courage or patriotism but by cowardice, fear, and finally egoism, and events are filtered through his consciousness.
This 1895 tale of young soldier Henry Fleming's initial experiences in combat during the Civil War still startles. Artist Vansant captures Fleming's uncertainty and fear quite well, sometimes through effectively understated facial expressions. Yet this adaptation oversimplifies Crane's portrayal of Fleming, ignoring or de-emphasizing the character's other failings: his egotism, his talent for self-justification and the "wild battle madness" underlying much of his later heroism. In Crane's book, Fleming is haunted by his desertion of the dying "tattered man"; in Vansant's version, Fleming forgets him. Though Crane's book is a landmark in realism, the author's symbolic writing turned Fleming's battlefield into a mythic realm. Vansant's conventionally realistic artwork, on the other hand, is more prosaic than Crane's brilliantly descriptive captions. This adaptation faithfully introduces the plot, characters and primary themes of Red Badge to readers unfamiliar with the original book without penetrating the full depths of Crane's masterwork.
Classic, mix of boring and intense
Written in 1895, so an interesting 30-year post-civil-war read. Spoken dialogue and narration can be pretty hard to follow at times. It’s hard to get a good mental picture of what’s going on, except when death and corpses are being described. Some battle scenes are clear, some are confusing. In the end though, it’s a thought provoking book about a soldier’s journey through fear, shame, and success.
Red badge of courage
I had to read this book a long time ago, but I was not mature enough to understand. Definitely a great read as an adult.
The Red Badge of Courage
Excellent book, first time I read it I was a teen and didn't truly understand it. Now, 50 plus years later, I understand it very well having had similar experiences myself while serving in the military.