'The Red Badge
of Courage' is set in the American Civil War. The story is told by a young guy that joins up to march, fight, and win glory.
So they march, they camp, they eat short rations, they wait, they march. At first he does fight, but then he breaks and runs.
He feels he is a coward, but to show for his part in the fight he has a wound, a red badge of courage. When he returns to
his comrades they take him for something of a hero.
The moods of individual
men and the groupthink of the mob. His mother, sick with fear and already grieving her loss, packs the youth off to war. She
advises him not to get into bad company (some soldiers have such bad attitude), and that she has put some of his favorite
jam in his knapsack. The old-timers call the rookies 'fresh fish'; the fresh fish squabble and tell make-fool stories about
the war they have not yet fought.
Young Henry Fleming leaves his mother on the farm to join the Union Army during the Civil War. He is
discouraged by his regiment's lack of action, but when the time arrives to fight, he runs. Once Henry finds his way back to
his people (after the battle), they accept him back in and nurse the wound they think he received during the fighting. Henry
goes on to fight like a little tiger, hoping to prove to himself that he's worthy of their esteem