The Red Badge of Courage
is a war novel
by American author Stephen Crane
. Taking place during the American Civil War
, the story is about a young private
of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound—a "red badge of courage"—to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry acts as standard-bearer
. Although Crane was born after the war, and had not at the time experienced battle firsthand, the novel is known for its realism
. He began writing what would become his second novel in 1893, using various contemporary and written accounts (such as those published previously by Century Magazine
) as inspiration. It is believed that he based the fictional battle on that of Chancellorsville
; he may also have interviewed veterans of the 124th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment
, commonly known as the Orange Blossoms. Initially shortened and serialized in newspapers in December 1894
, the novel was published in full in October 1895
. Several of the themes that the story explores are maturation, heroism, cowardice, and the indifference of nature. Adapted several times for the screen, the novel became a bestseller. It has never been out of print, and is now thought to be Crane's most important work and a major American text.
Ernest Miller Hemingway
(July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author
. His distinctive writing style, characterized by economy and understatement
, influenced 20th-century fiction, as did his life of adventure and public image. He produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature
in 1954. Hemingway's fiction was successful because the characters he presented exhibited authenticity that resonated with his audience. Many of his works are classics of American literature
. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works during his lifetime; a further three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously.
Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea in 1952 Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in a plane crash that left him in pain or ill-health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway had permanent residences in Key West, Florida, and Cuba during the 1930s and '40s, but in 1959 he moved from Cuba to Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in the summer of 1961.