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The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage


by Stephen Crane

Analysis: Writing Style

Grammatically Unconventional

We know, we know – the last time you wrote a "grammatically unconventional" English paper you got a C-. Stephen Crane certainly takes liberty with the conventions of the language, going Yoda on us with sentences like these:

"Doubts and he were struggling" (11.15).

"A sputtering of musketry was always to be heard" (16.1).

"It is true that his trousers felt to him that they were no fit for his legs at all" (3.27).

"A house standing placidly in distant fields had to him an ominous look" (3.28).

Weird, right? This takes some getting used to, but it certainly marks the novel with a stylistic individuality.

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