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STEVEN CRANES THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE AFFECTED PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF THE CIVIL WAR Stephen Crane 1871-1900 was an American novelist and poet one of the first American writers of the naturalistic style of writing Crane is known for his pessimistic and often brutal portrayals of the human condition but his stark realism is relieved by poetic charm and a sympathetic understanding of character Born in Newark New Jersey and the son of a Methodist minister Crane began work in 1891 in New York City as a freelance reporter in the slums The job provided him with material for his first novel Maggie a Girl of the Streets written in 1893 a work that won praise from American writers Hamlin Garland and William Dean Howellsalso naturalistic writers--but werent as popular or successful as Crane Cranes next novel The Red Badge of Courage written in 1895 and gained international recognition as a penetrating and realistic psychological study of a young soldier in the American Civil War In addition to being a novelist journalist and short-story writer Crane was also an innovator in free verse techniques irregular verse Crane died at the age of twenty-eight and a half of tuberculosis Although he died at such a young age his literature had a profound affect on the world Thomas Beer points out The Red Badge of Courage as illustrating better than any of Cranes works that his search for aesthetic was governed by terror and no one since Poe has evoked that emotionHaycraft and Kunitz 189 When Crane signed a contract with D Appleton and Co to publish The Red Badge of Courage he was not well-known enough to command an advance and agreed to a flat 10 per cent royalty on the retail price of all copies sold McPherson 5 Published in the autumn of 1895 the book went through two editions before the end of the year By March of 1896 the novel was
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