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Red Badge of Courage Essay: Themes of Heritage and Color

Themes of Heritage and Color in Red Badge of Courage

“The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares. A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army’s feet; and at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp fires set in the low brows of distant hills” (Crane 1). The above quote is the opening paragraph of Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage. Just this one paragraph foreshadows the themes of change in color and its underlying messages, and the subtle idea of social heritage. Crane, through his detailed writing, colors the war as an ever changing psychological standing as well as the changing ideals of the socially learned heritage.

The novel opens with Henry Fleming in the field and remembering the route to his current condition within the war. Crane spends a good amount of time relaying the interaction between Henry and his mother as he prepares to go off to fight in the war as well as the questioning of himself as a man. What is so interesting about this particular part, as it relates to the end of the novel, is that the America ideals of the creation of a man (hero) through war and war as beautiful are approached and challenged.

Henry’s mother isn’t pleased with his going off to war. She warns him against not only the enemy but also the men he shall be fighting with. “He had, of course, dre…

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… the flag, the reader can see both flags in color upon a still black and white background. And finally, by the end, when Henry and his fellow men awaken to their victory, everything is in color of hope.

Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage formed circles of the two themes of heritage and color. While interchanging romanticism and deromanticism, Crane is able to create a complete three hundred and sixty degree rotation of the ideas of manhood, heroism, and attitudes of war (the fluctuating colors). The novel opens with the question of warriors equaling men and heroes, and ends with the answer. The novel begins full of color and ends with color. “Over the river a golden ray of sun came through the hosts of leaden rain clouds” (Crane 183).

Works Cited

Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. Barnes and Noble Classics, 1992.

Essay on Dramatic Effects in Shakespeare’s The Tempest

The Importance of Dramatic Effects in The Tempest

It has been said that the function of drama is to confront and then engage the audience. This is certainly the approach taken by Shakespeare in his play, The Tempest. When the play begins, the audience is immediately confronted by the sheer ferocity of the tempest, and from the time that the unfortunate passengers land on the island, the audience is engaged by the fantasy of the island of Prospero.

At the start of the play, we see the action on board the ship which is ferrying the King and some members of the upper class back home. They are in the midst of a great storm, the likes of which mariners of those times would have prayed not to meet. The state of nature, at this point, is very much in disorder. This becomes important after the action inn the ensuing calm, as many different binary opposites are set up, such as fate against free will, human versus non human, and order conflicting with disorder. Prospero, the ruler of the island, is actually both parts of the opposition ‘power of kings’ versus supernatural power, being both the rightful Duke of Milan and the leader of his island, and also being a magician with a spirit as a servant. Through his ‘art’, he also shows us again the order/disorder opposition. He created the storm at the start of the play, the great disorder. Towards the end, however, he is responsible for the masque scene, a great order – the culminating of perfection for that culture, in fact.

In Elizabethan times, dramatists used the thrust stage as the standard for all of the plays performed. The thrust stage, as distinct to the later used Proscenium arch, was a large raised platform that reached out into the audience. In fact,…

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…on. It is important to note that you do not get the full effect of a play just from reading it, but in The Tempest, these effects work as well as in another masterpiece from Shakespeare.

Works Cited and Consulted:

Garnett, Richard. “Irving Shakespeare” The Tempest (and selected criticism).

Charlotte Porter and Helen A. Clarke (eds.) Thomas Y. Crowell

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