The Red Badge of Courage

by

Stephen Crane

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Red Badge of Courage can help.

The Red Badge of Courage Symbols

Corpses

Henry is fascinated with corpses in his search for answers about courage, glory, and self-sacrifice. He had initially believed that a glorious death would give him everlasting fame. But in the war, he sees corpses… (read full symbol analysis)

Wounds

For Henry, wounds are a "red badge of courage" to show off like a Purple Heart medal—the modern military award given to soldiers wounded in combat. Henry wants a wound to prove that he… (read full symbol analysis)

The Tattered Man

A living symbol, the tattered man represents Henry's own conscience projected onto someone else. The tattered soldier embodies Henry's feelings of guilt and shame for fleeing battle. He also exposes Henry's juvenile ways of… (read full symbol analysis)

Flags

By definition, flags are symbols of something else, such as a state or country. In Red Badge, battle flags symbolize the opposing armies. More importantly, they represent a soldier's need to believe in his… (read full symbol analysis)