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The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage

by Stephen Crane

Red

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

So did you notice any mention of the color red in this novel? Maybe once or twice, or fifty two times? Here are a few important ones:"From across the river the red eyes were still peering" (2.11.)."From this little distance the many fires, with the black forms of men passing to and fro before the crimson rays, made weird and satanic effects" (2.34)."They were going to look at war, the red animal –war, the blood-swollen god" (3.30)."Then, upon this stillness, there suddenly broke a tremendous clangor of sounds. A crimson roar came from the distance" (8.2)."At times he regarded the wounded soldiers in an envious way. He conceived persons with torn bodies to be peculiarly happy. He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage" (9.3)."He had rid himself of the red sickness of battle" (24.33).

We’re thinking red has something to do with things that are scary, bloody, dangerous, and war-related. Go find a dozen more references and let us know what you think.

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