One possible theme of The Red Badge of Courage could be that maturity is reached by experience. Do you think that Henry has reached maturity by the end of the book? Name three major events that contribute to Henry’s growth. Support your opinion about Henry’s maturity with two examples.
Your answer should contain the following:
full explanation of this theme and supporting examples from the text;
three major events that contribute to Henry’s growth; and
your reasoned opinion with two examples on whether or not Henry has reached maturity.
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Does this answer the question and is it grammatically correct?
I do believe that Henry reaches a state of maturity by the end of the book. How though does he do it. I based my opinion on the points from the story. The first is how he reacts to his first battle. The second is how he reacts to others running away, confused. The last point is when he and Wilson saved the flag.
The first point I would like to bring out is how he reacts when he first has to fight on the field. Although he is scared, he learned how to handle those fears and fight in the battle.
His second act of maturity is when he runs away from the battle. After getting hit in the head, coming back to the regiment, supporting a lie about him running off, and hearing about the others that ran confused too, he almost makes fun of those people. However, afterward he rethinks what he said and realizes that he is no better than them because he did the same thing. This helps him to lower his pride and that is very mature.
The third time he showed a mature spirit was when he and Wilson saved the flag. The didn’t want it to fall and show a sign of weakness, so they picked it up and carried it high, on their own. This act conveyed that they were no longer frightened by the aspects of war and were proud of their work.
We can also see that he, Henry, changed throughout the book by his thoughts. An example of this is in the beginning, right before he leaves. After he tells his mother that he joined the army he hopes and expects for her to make a big deal about it. When she doesn’t the book says that, “ she had disappointed him by saying nothing whatever about returning with his shield or on it.” That was an immature comment because it shows that Henry didn’t know the meaning or point of war, unlike his mother. He was also too focussed on his own victory.
Later in the book towards the end we find another example. We see that Henry now understands war better by this, “ the light of his soul flickered with shame.” His thoughts before and after this show him humbling. He isn’t just excited that they won, instead he sees the reality. He understands that many people died and it was all a really sad occasion.
So overall throughout the story Henry grows up. He doesn’t just keep the same frame of mind, he learns from the mistakes and actions of himself and others.