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The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage


by Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage Chapter 19 Summary

  • As the men rush toward the enemy, Henry seems to see everything with complete and utter clarity. Each blade of grass, every tree trunk, the individual corpses, are all suddenly clear to him in a way nothing has ever been before.
  • He and the other men hesitate as if sensing their own deaths, but their lieutenant screams at them in a "blue haze of curses" (19.20). The lieutenant could "string oaths with the facility of a maiden who strings beads" (19.17). (An impressive talent. And metaphor.)
  • The men run forward, including Henry, who has suddenly recovered his "inner war-beast."
  • The flag bearer gets shot and nearly drops the flag, but Henry the war-beast grabs the flag and runs with it straight at the enemy, with Wilson’s aid. (Who needs a rifle when you have symbolism?)

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