The Red Badge of Courage
Three-Act Plot Analysis
PRE-BATTTLE: Henry worries and obsesses about whether or not he will run away from battle. The act ends right about the time when Henry’s fears come to fruition and he actually does flee the fighting.
RUNNING AWAY: Henry goes through about a dozen different states of mind while trying to process his guilt over running away. He gets clubbed in the head and pretends it’s a battle injury while continuing to worry that he will be found out as a fraud.
BATTLE: Henry fights well and becomes the flag bearer. He finally becomes a real man, Pinocchio-style.