The Red Badge of Courage

Stephen Crane

Read By: Scott Brick
Genre: Fiction, War Story
Published: 1895


The Red Badge of Courage focuses on the moral world of a young man in the Union Army, Henry Fleming. He has deserted his regiment in the clash and horror of battle, deluding himself with specious arguments of self-preservation, only to discover that his group has won the day. He finds himself among the wounded, and they treat him as though he is wounded himself, which fills him with shame at his cowardice and desertion. He goes back to his comrades, vowing to cleanse himself through bravery in battle. He redoubles his assault on the Confederate foe, grasping the standard of battle from a dying man and carrying it bravely forward. At last, his conscience is clear, and his self-inflicted wound of cowardice has been healed.