The Red Badge of Courage TWIST Analysis

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The Red Badge of Courage TWIST

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Activity Overview


Another great way to engage your students is through the creation of storyboards that examine Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, and Theme. This activity is referred to with the acronym “TWIST”. In a TWIST, students focus on a particular paragraph or a few pages, to look deeper at the author’s meaning.


TWIST Literary Analysis

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Stephen Crane is one of those authors revered for his use of winding language and vivid imagery. Using an excerpt from The Red Badge of Courage, students can depict, explain, and discuss important quotes from the text, and analyze the author’s use of style and word choice to enhance meaning.

TWIST Example for The Red Badge of Courage

The din in front swelled to a tremendous chorus. The youth and his fellows were frozen to silence. They could see a flag that tossed in the smoke angrily. Near it were the blurred and agitated forms of troops. There came a turbulent stream of men across the fields. A battery changing position at a frantic gallop scattered the stragglers right and left… The battle flag in the distance jerked about madly. It seemed to be struggling to free itself from agony. The billowing smoke was filled with horizontal flashes. Men rushing swiftly emerged from it. They grew in numbers until it was seen that the whole command was fleeing. The flag suddenly sank down as if dying. Its motion as it fell was a gesture of despair.


T

TONE

urgent, vivid, sincere
W

WORD CHOICE

tossed, angrily, turbulent stream, frantic, jerked, madly, struggling, agony, dying, despair
I

IMAGERY

The flag suddenly sank down as if dying. Its motion as it fell was a gesture of despair.
S

STYLE

The passage is written in quick, staccato-like sentences, like the orders given by a commander or a newspaper reporter writing about his observations. The imagery is vivid and gives a picture of men swarming about through the smoke with the flag being the only observable figure in the melee.
T

THEME

The action of the battle is coupled with the struggle of the flag which highlights the struggle of the men below it. The flag itself becomes a soldier struggling in the battle, and signals the loss of the men as it sinks.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Perform a TWIST analysis of a selection from The Red Badge of Courage. Remember that TWIST stands for Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, Theme.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Choose any combination of scenes, characters, items, and text to represent each letter of TWIST.
  3. Write a few sentences describing the importance or meaning of the images.
  4. Finalize images, edit, and proofread your work.

TWIST Template

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