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A Fight to Lose Individualism to Conquer Ones Self Stephen Cranes The Red Badge of Courage establishes individualism as an unfavorable quality Group accomplishments are more important than that of the individual to get through a battle of war And one must lose that identity in order to actually find ones self Cranes main character Henry is portrayed as a youth in search of self worth and assurance Crane creates Henry as an individual in a mass society He establishes Henry as an individual because he gives him the ability to think for himself but creates situations that halt his individualism in order for him to remain a part of his regiment Crane injects him into the army with aspirations of attaining a sense of identity Crane gives this character one thing that men ought not to do in this novel He gives Henry the ability to think Therefore Henry looks past the glory of enlisting in the army and begins to question what could happen to him on the battlefield He acknowledges the presence of something the other men dare not think about which is death With the realization that lives are at stake he questions whether or not he will run when faced with battle It suddenly appeared to him that perhaps in a battle he might run He tried to mathematically prove to himself that he would not run He was forced to admit that as far as war was concerned he knew nothing of himself Crane 6 This confusion about his intrepidity leads him to question others He wonders if the regiment feels the same way he does He takes his questions to a soldier Jim Conklin so that he can feel more as a member of the regiment Jim replies If a whole lot of boys started to run why I spose Id start and run And if I once started to run Id run like the devil and no
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