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The Red Badge of Courage AP English Per 1st Manhood is hard to describe and even harder to achieve In Stephen Cranes book the theme of not only manhood but also maturity is spread throughout the novel The storys protagonist Henry Fleming becomes a man through the course of the book Two other characters have great influence on the theme of manhood they are examples to Henry while he fights his battles with the confederates as well as himself The first instrumental man is a fellow solider named Jim Conklin He is injured in their first engagement with the Confederates He soon dies from his battle wounds or his red badges of courage Jim shows courage and maturity by fighting and dying for the purpose he believes in Conklin doesnt verbally teach Henry much but he is a great symbol of true manhood to Henry In the earlier parts of the book Henry is a scared little boy who hasnt grown into his body yet Hes developed enough physically to handle war but his mind is still childish When Henry witnesses Jims last few moments he has a realization of life and death But at the time Henry tucks his tail between his legs and fakes an injury to get away from the front line He sees Jim die and it scares him Conklin is a symbol of the harsh side of manhood With Jim dead it makes Henry realize he could be next Henrys thoughts of war being all glory and honor change to those of death Later on in the book the reader sees Jim-like characteristics in Henry When Henry first starts fighting he thinks manhood is gained through participating in war becoming the he-man Near the end of the book Henrys vision of manhood changes from adolescent fantasy to an understanding that manhood lies more in the complex ways in which one negotiates ones mistakes and responsibilities than in ones
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