Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Book Review: Red Badge of Courage- Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of CourageThe Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a classic that m wife highly recommended to me. I was not a big fan of it immediately and I was able to pin down why pretty quickly. It is probably a lacking on my part, but I couldn't get around it. Ironically, this is also probably why the book was so popular and impacting when it came out. The story is told from the point of view of the main character, but throughout the book he mostly remains nameless [his name is told in conversation a few times, but overall his name is unused]. Being told in this way probably made it easier for the reader to put themselves into the shoes of the main character and imagine that they were experiencing what he was. This in turn, forces the reader to imagine being faced with the same hard choices and consequences.
The book reminded me a lot of a short Crime and Punishment. The main character does something that he previously viewed as despicable ((view spoiler)) and then wrestles with trying to justify his actions. The difference is that it is much shorter and the main character has a better opportunity to redeem himself.

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