The Red Badge of Courage

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The Red Badge of Courage Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The tattered man is awed by Jim's strength and by his strange death. He then admits to Henry that he's also starting to feel very unwell, implying that he'd like Henry's help. Henry is scared he'll witness another grim death, but the tattered man reassures him he won't die yet because he's got children depending on him.
Jim didn't want help; the tattered man does. Henry gets a second chance to help a wounded man, but his irritated response suggests he was only helping Jim to help himself.
Themes
Courage Theme Icon
The Living and the Dead Theme Icon
The tattered man tells Henry how he got shot in the head without even knowing it. He then describes Henry as looking pretty bad and warns him to take care of his own wound, one that might be inside, one that he might not even feel. The tattered man asks Henry where his wound is and Henry replies "don't bother me." Henry feels like the man's questions are "knife thrusts."
Once again the tattered man acts like an external version of Henry's own conscience, identifying that Henry does in fact have a wound inside: his own guilt, which cut into him like "knife thrusts."
Themes
Courage Theme Icon
Youth and Manhood Theme Icon
The Living and the Dead Theme Icon
Henry resolves to leave the tattered man and tells him goodbye, even though he knows the tattered man will probably die without help. Confused, the tattered man stutters and protests, and starts to mistake Henry for another soldier.
But Henry cannot face up to his own guilt. Instead, he runs away from it like a child, even though he knows the tattered man will die without him.
Themes
Courage Theme Icon
Youth and Manhood Theme Icon
Henry leaves, abandoning the tattered man to wander in the field. Now Henry envies the corpses of dead soldiers. He wishes he were dead because he'll never be able to hide his secrets.
Henry thinks that his guilt—an internal wound—will be just as visible as the external wound he lacks.
Themes
Courage Theme Icon
Youth and Manhood Theme Icon
The Living and the Dead Theme Icon
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