The Red Badge of Courage
Respect and Reputation Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
On the way to Washington his spirit had soared. The regiment was fed and caressed at station after station until the youth had believed that he must be a hero. There was a lavish expenditure of bread and cold meats, coffee, and pickles and cheese. As he basked in the smiles of the girls and was patted and complimented by the old men, he had felt growing within him the strength to do mighty deeds of arms (1.34).
At the beginning of the novel, Henry bases his own sense of worth on the opinions of others.
Frequently over this tumult could be heard the grim jokes of the critical veterans; but the retreating men apparently were not even conscious of the presence of an audience (4.33).
"Audience" is an interesting word to note here – Henry indeed has to act out most of his internal debate in front of other men. Talk about pressure, right?
The youth went on. Turning at a distance he saw the tattered man wandering about helplessly in the field.
He now thought that he wished he was dead. He believed he envied those men whose bodies lay strewn over the grass of the fields and on the fallen leaves of the forest (10.31-2).
Henry envies the dead men because they no longer have shame or guilt over their actions. They are also free from scrutiny from the other soldiers, whereas Henry may be discovered as a coward.