A nameless, dirty, and twice-shot soldier who meets Henry in the procession of the wounded. By asking Henry about the fighting and Henry's non-existent wounds, the tattered man works like Henry's external conscience. Henry thinks that the tattered man knows his secrets, though Henry is probably projecting his guilt and shame on to others. Even though the tattered man selflessly tries to assist the wounded Jim and then needs help himself when he is on the verge of dying, Henry deserts him: a juvenile attempt to escape his own shame. The memory of the tattered man and Henry's abandonment of him plagues Henry's conscience.
The The Red Badge of Courage quotes below are all either spoken by Tattered man or refer to Tattered man. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Red Badge of Courage published in 2005.).
Chapter 9 Quotes
Because of the tattered soldier's question he now felt that his shame could be viewed. He was continually casting sidelong glances to see if the men were contemplating the letters of guilt he felt burned into his brow.
Chapter 10 Quotes
The simple questions of the tattered man had been knife thrusts to him. They asserted a society that probes pitilessly at secrets until all is apparent. ... [H]is crime ... was sure to be brought plain by one of those arrows which cloud the air and are constantly pricking, discovering, proclaiming those things which are willed to be forever hidden.
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