The Red Badge of Courage

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Insulting officer Character Analysis

An anonymous officer who says of Henry's regiment that "they fight like a lot 'a mule drivers." Having just won their fight, Henry feels otherwise. These two difference shows how the meaning of battles and war are subject to different interpretations based on the perspective of the interpreter. From the officer's perspective, courageous individual efforts are insignificant parts of a larger strategy. From Henry's perspective, he (Henry) is a hero. The insulting officer also exposes Henry's motivations to fight—not for patriotic ideals, but to get his revenge and prove the officer dead wrong.

Insulting officer Quotes in The Red Badge of Courage

The The Red Badge of Courage quotes below are all either spoken by Insulting officer or refer to Insulting officer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Courage Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of The Red Badge of Courage published in 2005.
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Insulting officer Character Timeline in The Red Badge of Courage

The timeline below shows where the character Insulting officer appears in The Red Badge of Courage. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 18
Courage Theme Icon
The War Machine Theme Icon
The Living and the Dead Theme Icon
...break the lines, and the attack will be costly to repel. The general asks an officer what troops he can spare. The officer offers Henry's regiment, saying that they fight like... (full context)
Youth and Manhood Theme Icon
The Living and the Dead Theme Icon
...regiment to share the news of their impending charge. They don't tell anyone about the officer's insult. Henry feels like his eyes have been opened to his own insignificance. The soldiers... (full context)
Chapter 20
Courage Theme Icon
Youth and Manhood Theme Icon
Henry realizes that his wish to prove the insulting officer wrong will not come true. Ashamed and angry, Henry joins the lieutenant in trying to... (full context)
Chapter 21
Courage Theme Icon
The War Machine Theme Icon
The insulting officer storms over and complains to the colonel of Henry's regiment that they stopped too short,... (full context)
Chapter 22
Courage Theme Icon
The War Machine Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
The Living and the Dead Theme Icon
Still angry with the insulting officer, Henry resolves not to budge, hoping to prove that his regiment is not a bunch... (full context)