You can find this storyboard in our teacher guide for The Red Badge of Courage.

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Plot Diagram for The Red Badge of Courage


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Storyboard Description

The Red Badge of Courage summary Plot Diagram

Storyboard Text

  • Henry Fleming, a young man of 18 years old, has finally left his farm and his mother to join the Union Army. However, his regiment largely wanders from one place to another, never really seeing combat. Henry is consumed by fears that he will run away from a true battle, and while he tries to find comfort in other soldiers, especially veterans, the worries still plague him.
  • While Henry fights initially, he is quickly overcome by fear as he sees many of his fellow soldiers fleeing the first battle. His friend, a loud and arrogant soldier named Wilson, also deserts the battle before it really begins. Henry turns and runs away from the battle, fleeing into the woods and plagued by fear, guilt, and shame.
  • Henry meets up with a wounded unit of soldiers, including Jim Conklin. A tattered soldier tries to befriend Henry. Henry and soldier follow Jim into the woods, where he dies. Henry soon abandons him in the woods, alone and muttering to himself. Overcome by weariness, Henry is led back to his regiment by a cheery stranger. He says he was shot in the head by the enemy, but the wound is from a struggle with a soldier.
  • Henry keeps his cowardice from his comrades and becomes a “war devil,” or a fearless soldier. The regimen is then sent to an assignment which most likely means certain death. Henry and Wilson overhear the general calling the soldiers “mule drivers,” and this fuels his and Wilson’s resolve to fight. Henry becomes the color bearer for the next battle by saving the flag from a dying color bearer.
  • The regiment squares off with rebels hiding behind a farmer’s fence. Their lines are quickly dwindling, so they realize they have to charge the fence. Henry and Wilson lock their sights on the rebel color bearer, and Wilson swoops in to grab the flag as the color bearer is killed. The Union forces win the battle, and a strange calm settles over the land.
  • As they are marching back to camp, Henry is again plagued by guilt for his actions on the previous day. He recalls his cowardice, his abandonment of both Jim Conklin and the tattered soldier, and it starts to cause him despair. However, he begins to see that he has made up for these mistakes in his bravery as color bearer, and he finds peace within himself for his actions.
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