The Red Badge of Courage
How we cite our quotes:
"This thing won't do, now, Tom Jamison. It won't do. I know yeh, yeh pig-headed devil. Yeh wanta go trompin' off with a bad hurt. It ain't right – now – Tom Jamison – t ain't. Yeh wanta leave me take keer of yeh, Tom Jamison. It ain't – right – it ain't – fer yeh t' go – trompin' off – with a bad hurt – it ain't – ain't – ain't right – it ain't" (10.28).
"The Tattered Soldier" pretends that he wants to take care of Henry, but in fact he just wants someone to keep him company, particularly since he himself is likely close to death. Jim Conklin exhibited the same fear of being alone at his death.
He had been possessed of much fear of his friend, for he saw how easily questionings could make holes in his feelings. Lately, he had assured himself that the altered comrade would not tantalize him with a persistent curiosity, but he felt certain that during the first period of leisure his friend would ask him to relate his adventures of the previous day (15.8).
Henry is tormented by solitude, but consumed by fear of being discovered should he find himself in the company of other men. At all times in the novel, he is forced to face one or the other of these difficulties.
Another, who was a boy in years, took his plight with great calmness and apparent good nature. He conversed with the men in blue, studying their faces with his bright and keen eyes.
They spoke of battles and conditions. There was an acute interest in all their faces during this exchange of view points. It seemed a great satisfaction to hear voices from where all had been darkness and speculation (23.21).
In many ways, Red Badge is in part the story of boundaries between men. Henry feels isolated from his comrades because of the differences between them. It’s quite amazing, then, that these barriers can be broken even between different sides of the war.