The Red Badge of Courage

Discusses Steven Crane’s effective use of realism in Red Badge of Courage to vividly depict the horrors of war.

Stephen Crane produces an innovative style of writing in Red Badge of Courage, one that works to provide the reader with an immediate and realistic experience of the American Civil War. By placing the reader into a smaller scene of reality, through the eyes of one young soldier, Crane is able to heighten the sensory experience, and describe scenes of battle with vivid imagery that conveys both the chaos and savagery of war. As a technique, Crane’s writing scripted images into photographic fragments that most closely resemble the individual’s own sensory experience, thus making the soldier’s experience one of greater reality than other war narratives of this era.