The Red Badge of Courage


Stephen Crane

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Cheerful soldier Character Analysis

An anonymous soldier who shows up to guide Henry after he is slammed on the head by a rifle butt, and, dazed, is searching for safety. The cheerful soldier embodies the selflessness and altruism of Henry's heroic ideals. The soldier is described with religious overtones, particularly his paternal kindness, disembodied voice, and almost miraculous ability to guide Henry back to his regiment. This symbolism counters the deep uncertainty about religious expressed in the story, such as the dead soldier in the "chapel" of trees.
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Cheerful soldier Character Timeline in The Red Badge of Courage

The timeline below shows where the character Cheerful soldier appears in The Red Badge of Courage. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12
Courage Theme Icon
Youth and Manhood Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
The Living and the Dead Theme Icon
Just then, a cheerful soldier comes along and assures Henry that he'll return him to the regiment. Though the dark... (full context)