The Red Badge of Courage
How we cite our quotes:
He had grown to regard himself merely as a part of a vast blue demonstration. His province was to look out, as far as he could, for his personal comfort. For recreation he could twiddle his thumbs and speculate on the thoughts which must agitate the minds of the generals. Also, he was drilled and drilled and reviewed, and drilled and drilled and reviewed (1.39).
Interestingly, Henry’s loss of personal identity only makes him feel more isolated. He might be part of a larger machine, but he is a nameless cog surrounded by equally mechanical counterparts. There is no connection, no comfort to be found in this grouping of men.
The youth would have liked to have discovered another who suspected himself. A sympathetic comparison of mental notes would have been a joy to him (2.5).
Henry seeks this "companion" in order to justify his own cowardice and break the isolation which so torments him.
He felt alone in space when his injured comrade had disappeared. His failure to discover any mite of resemblance in their viewpoints made him more miserable than before. No one seemed to be wrestling with such a terrific personal problem. He was a mental outcast (2.52).
Henry is more concerned with his isolation than he is with his reputation or his safety. Red Badge is essentially about his desire to be one of the guys.