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Word Count: 833
To understand the role nature plays in The Red Badge of Courage we must analyse Cranes use of imagery and references to nature in relation to Henrys experiences We must also note the personification of nature which allows us to speculate upon its attitude towards Henry or to humanity under the presumption that it actually has the ability to care or not Naming army troops and weaponry as monsters dragons reptiles and serpents is common in the first four chapters thus giving nature a military connotation Tents spring up like strange plants Camp fires like red peculiar blossoms dot the night The shells look to be strange war flowers bursting into fierce bloom Crane goes as far as to name war itself the red animal During battle the skirmishers are firing at the landscape and their bullets fly into thickets and at distant and prominent trees The enemy is finally named as the advance upon Nature seems too calm Henry thinks that he does not relish the landscape It threatens him The notion of a battle between nature and mankind is thus clearly exposed Therefore The Red Badge could be interpreted as a young mans development through this battle Henry is presented as a young inexperienced man with a naive vision of life and war In times of doubt he tends to isolate himself he keeps from intercourse with his companions as much as circumstances allow him even though a sympathetic comparison of mental notes would have been a joy to him However when battle arrives he becomes not a man but a member a part of a subtle battle brotherhood a mysterious fraternity A sence of belonging fills him with strength and disperses his fear However the following battle proves to be too much for an inexperienced soldier like himself and he flees Feeling separated from others by the righteousness of his action he turns from belonging in a group to isolation in
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