How does the Red Badge of Courage relate to Stephen Cranes Life?

I need to know how Stephen Crane came up with writing the Red Badge of Courage. I need examples of his life experiences that he had and then he put them in the Red Badge of Courage.

One Response to “How does the Red Badge of Courage relate to Stephen Cranes Life?”

  1. semper_paratus_1776  on January 5th, 2014

    In March 1893, while spending hours lounging in his friend Corwin Knapp Linson’s studio while having his portrait painted, Crane became fascinated with old Civil War issues of the Century published between 1884 and 1887. Largely devoted to famous battles and military leaders, the writing was dry and lifeless and Crane, frustrated, said to Linson, “I wonder that some of those fellows don’t tell how they felt in those scraps. They spout enough of what they did, but they’re as emotionless as rocks.” Crane returned to these magazines during subsequent visits to Linson’s studio and eventually the idea of writing a war novel overtook him. He would later state that he “had been unconsciously working the detail of the story out through most of his boyhood” and had imagined “war stories ever since he was out of knickerbockers.” This novel, which he believed would make him famous, would ultimately become The Red Badge of Courage.

    From the beginning, Crane wished to show what it felt like to be in a war by writing “a psychological portrayal of fear.” Conceiving his story from the point of view of a young private who is at first filled with boyish dreams of the glory of war and then quickly becomes disillusioned by war’s reality, Crane borrowed the private’s surname, “Fleming”, from his sister-in-law’s maiden name. Crane would later tell Hamlin Garland that the first words and paragraphs came to him with “every word in place, every comma, every period fixed.”


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