CliffsNotes Crane's The Red Badge of Courage

CliffsNotes Crane's The Red Badge of Courage

CliffsNotes Crane's The Red Badge of Courage

CliffsNotes Crane's The Red Badge of Courage


The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format.

Stephen Crane wrote the first draft of The Red Badge of Courage in only ten days. This CliffsNotes supplement carries you along as the story of a young boy named Henry Fleming faces his first battle - not only in war but with his own fear, pride, and cowardice - unfolds. It still remains as one of the best novels about the American Civil War.

This study guide carefully walks you through every step of Henry's ordeal by providing summaries and critical analyses of each chapter of the novel. You'll also explore the life and background of the author and gain insight into how he came to write The Red Badge of Courage. Other features that help you study include

  • A character map to highlight the relationships between characters
  • Glossaries after each chapter to define new and unfamiliar terms
  • Critical essays covering topics like figurative language and the structure of the novel
  • A review section that tests your knowledge
  • A ResourceCenter with books and Web sites for more study

Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure - you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.



The regiment rests during the second day of their march, and that night, they cross a bridge and sleep again. On the morning of the third day, they again move out and march to a forest. They remain there for several days.

On “one gray dawn” the whole regiment begins to run as if running toward a battle, but there is no battle. The regiment walks and then halts, and the soldiers continue to move from place to place. There is much grumbling among the men because of the constant walking and stopping. On occasion, the regiment sees skirmishers in the distance and hears the sounds of battle. The regiment comes upon a dead soldier, and Henry tries “to read in dead eyes the answer to the Question.” Henry continues to challenge, internally, the intelligence of the generals who are directing the troop movements, and he feels hatred toward the lieutenant who enforces troop discipline by keeping him marching in rank.

Henry considers that if he were to die quickly, he could end his anguish. The regiment comes upon a battle in the distance, and the men begin to prepare for battle. As the chapter ends, the loud soldier (Wilson) tells Henry that he expects to die in battle, and he hands Henry a packet which he asks Henry to take to his family.


Throughout most of Chapter 3, the major characters behave just as they have in Chapters 1 and 2.

Jim continues to accept everything that happens as part of a grand plan. He shows no worry. In Crane’s words, “The philosophical, tall soldier measured a sandwich of cracker and pork and swallowed it in a nonchalant manner.” And later in the chapter Crane writes, “He [Jim] accepted new environments and circumstances with great coolness, eating from his haversack at every opportunity.”

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