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Word Count: 647
Adolescence brings about many changes as a youth becomes an adult For many people this passage is either tedious and painful or simple and barely noticeable The anguish and torture that is usually associated with rites of passage and growing up is often used in literature as it is common and easily understood In The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane the character Henry Fleming survives the Civil War which serves as his rite of passage as it teaches him the importance of things such as dreams companionship dignity individualism and of course courageIn the beginning of the novel Henry is determined and eager to fight in war which is his dream and goal From all the tales told by others of fighting and glory he can not help but idolize the duty of the soldier and aspire to become the very same soldier Once he leaves home he starts to feel the indescribable feeling like a rush of excitement and anxiety at the same time His entire future is ahead of him and he is walking towards it with open arms Unfortunately his dreams are virtually shattered time and time again as he fights on in battleEventually Henry is faced with the ultimate enemy himself He begins to doubt his own self-confidence and wonders whether he will stay and fight or run when faced with death and war at the battlefields He questions his fellow soldiers and doubts whether they will accept him later should he run from the battle What will they do Will they run or stay If he runs and the other soldiers dont what will they think of him Such questions suggest the constant dilemma experienced by most adolescents which would be conformity peer pressure and acceptance Henry eventually flees from the scene reexamines himself and his thoughts and musters up the courage to return to the battlefield This is part of growing up facing your fears and giving
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