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'The Red Badge of Courage' Quotes


The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage


The Red Badge of Courage is a novel about the Civil War, and fictional portrait of a young soldier, Henry Fleming. Here are a few quotes from the novel.


  • "He had, of course, dreamed of battles all his life - of vague and bloody conflicts that had thrilled him with their sweep and fire. In visions he had seen himself in many struggles. He had imagined peoples secure in the shadow of his eagle-eyed prowess. But awake he had regarded battles as crimson blotches on the pages of the past. He had put them as things of the bygone with his thought-images of heavy crowns and high castles. There was a portion of the world's history which he had regarded as the time of wars, but it, he thought, had been long gone over the horizon and had disappeared forever."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 1
  • "He wished, without reserve, that he was at home again making the endless rounds from the house to the barn, from the barn to the fields, from the fields to the barn, from the barn to the house. He remembered he had often cursed the brindle cow and her mates, and had sometimes flung milking stools. But, from his present point of view, there was a halo of happiness about each of their heads, and he would have sacrificed all the brass buttons on the continent to have been enabled to return to them. He told himself that he was not formed for a soldier. And he mused seriously upon the radical differences between himself and the men who were dodging implike around the fires."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 2
  • "Once he thought he had concluded that it would be better to get killed directly and end his troubles. Regarding death thus out of the corner of his eye, he conceived it to be nothing but rest, and he was filled with a momentary astonishment that he should have made an extraordinary commotion over the mere matter of getting killed. He would die; he would go to some place where he would be understood. It was useless to expect appreciation of his profound and fine senses from such men as the lieutenant. He must look to the grave for comprehension."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 3
  • "He suddenly lost concern for himself, and forgot to look at a menacing fate. He became not a man but a member. He felt that something of which he was a part - a regiment, an army, a cause, or a country - was in crisis. He was welded into a common personality which was dominated by a single desire. For some moments he could not flee no more than a little finger can commit a revolution from a hand."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 5
  • "To the youth it was an onslaught of redoubtable dragons. He became like the man who lost his legs at the approach of the red and green monster. He waited in sort of a horrified, listening attitude. He seemed to shut his eyes and wait to be gobbled."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 6
  • "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."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 9
  • "The tall soldier turned and, lurching dangerously, went on. The youth and the tattered soldier followed, sneaking as if whipped, feeling unable to face the stricken man if he should again confront them. They began to have thoughts of a solemn ceremony. There was something rite-like in the movements of the doomed soldier. And there was a resemblance in him to a devotee of a mad religion, blood-sucking, muscle-wrenching, bone-crushing. They were awed and afraid. They hung back lest he have at command a dreadful weapon."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 9
  • "He now thought that he wished he was dead. He believed that he envied those men whose bodies lay strewn over the grass of the fields and on the fallen leaves of the forest."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 10
  • "The simple questions of the tattered man had been knife thrusts to him. They asserted a society that probes pitilessly at secrets until all is apparent. His late companion's chance persistency made him feel that he could not keep his crime concealed in his bosom. It was sure to be brought plain by one of those arrows that which cloud that air and are constantly pricking, discovering, proclaiming, those things which are willed forever to be hidden. He admitted that he could not defend himself against this agency. It was not within the power of vigilance."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 10
  • "The youth reflected. He had been used to regarding his comrade as a blatant child with an audacity grown from his inexperience, thoughtless, headstrong, jealous, and filled with tinsel courage. A swaggering babe accustomed to strut in his own dooryard The youth wondered where had been born these new eyes; when his comrade had made the great discovery that there were many men who would refuse to be subjected by him. Apparently, the other had now climbed a peak of wisdom from which he could perceive himself as a very wee thing. And the youth saw that ever after it would be easier to live in his friend's neighborhood."
    -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, Ch. 14

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