Sean's Reviews > The Red Badge of Courage: An Authoritative Text Backgrounds and Sources Criticism

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
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Aug 22, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, high-school-reads, 19th-century-novels
Read from December 29 to 30, 2012

As much about the quest for self-knowledge as it is about war. War itself is just the setting; the real conflict of the novel is internal. "The Youth" is tormented by his lack of self-knowledge. And what he fails to grasp, even by the end of the novel, is the evanescence of that self. So he is content, just as he was rabid, just as he was despondent.

The protagonist bears an uncanny resemblance to another great self-destructive adolescent: Holden Caulfield. I found myself thinking of him throughout.

Powerful in unexpected ways. A favorite now.
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