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 dealing with his conflicted feelings: when the tattered man needs help, Henry abandons him, just as he wishes to abandon his own guilt.
The Tattered Man Quotes in The Red Badge of Courage
The The Red Badge of Courage quotes below all refer to the symbol of The 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:).
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.
The Tattered Man Symbol Timeline in The Red Badge of Courage
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Tattered Man appears in The Red Badge of Courage. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...into the fields. Henry is terrified by the sight and chases after Jim with the tattered man . When Jim eventually stops, he stands motionless, demanding to be left alone. His body... (full context)