This novel, universally acclaimed as a 'portrait of war', is known for its unique amalgamation of elements of naturalism, impressionism and symbolism, as it records the thoughts of Henry Fleming, a young Civil War recruit. Being intensely psychological in its approach, it portrays the emotional struggles Henry undergoes, like anxiety, fear, and ego- all finally overcome by self confidence, as he pursues in his mission.
Inspired by the war novels of Leo Tolstoy and the memoirs of Civil War veteran, Stephen Crane has depicted the war scenes and the lives of everyday folks and soldiers in a realistic manner. Rich with colour imageries and symbols, the novel drives home themes like self-preservation, manhood, bravery and value of human life.
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