The Red Badge of Courage (Critical Insights) by Stephen Crane, Eric Carl Link

By Stephen Crane, Eric Carl Link

The essays during this quantity handle a mess of viewpoints on Crane's most famed paintings. new essays research how the tradition of the 1890 and its clashes over immigration, industrialization and poverty motivated Crane and the way John Paul Sartre's existentialism can increase our knowing of the radical. one other essay bargains a finished survey of the multitude of feedback on pink Badge of braveness. nonetheless others study using humor within the novel, learn its imagery and talk about Crane's notion of braveness and heroism.

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He applies the hardships of urban life, which he has witnessed firsthand, to those of the soldier’s life that he can only imagine. In fact, one of the most striking patterns of imagery running through the novel is explicitly industrial: war, the army, and the individual man are all compared to parts of a machine. Fleming imagines that the enemy soldiers “must be machines of steel” (39). The Union army, of which he is a part, is a “mighty blue machine” (66). ” (41). Battle is “like the grinding of an immense and terrible machine,” and Fleming “must go see it produce corpses” (48).

Here where the hall turns and dives into utter darkness is a step, and another, another. A flight of stairs. You can feel your way, if you cannot see it. Close? Yes! What would you have? All the fresh air that ever enters these stairs comes from the hall-door that is forever slamming, and from the windows of dark bedrooms that in turn receive from the stairs their sole supply of the elements God meant to be free. (43) Riis was a reformer, and he set his sights on the tenement as the single most important factor contributing to crime, disease, and poverty in the American city.

Eric Carl Link, too, provides a penetrating analysis of Crane’s particular brand of naturalism. Olaf W. Fryckstedt argues for a naturalistic pessimism akin to nihilism instead of the redemption that Stallman and others see in Red Badge. Philip Rahv broadens the attack on Stallman, holding that the fixation on religious symbolism has become a debilitating bias that fails to yield important interpretive insights. If for no other reason than to gain a sense of the heat and smoke sparked by Stallman’s claims about religion and the communion wafer, see his contentious rebuttals (1955, 1957), wherein he first directly responds to his critics and then restates and reaffirms the merits of his religious readings.

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