"The Red Badge of Courage," Vocabulary from Ch's 6-11

The main character in Stephen Crane's "Red Badge of Courage"seeks battlefield redemption for an earlier act of cowardice. Set during The Civil War, the protagonist must confront issues of manliness and fear as he returns to the battle from which he once ran.

Learn these word lists for the classic: Ch's 1-5, Ch's 6-11, Ch's 12-18, and Ch's 19-24.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. perceived
    detected by means of the senses
    He perceived that the man who had fought thus was magnificent.
  2. discern
    detect with the senses
    He discerned forms begin to swell in masses out of a distant wood.
  3. countenance
    the appearance conveyed by a person's face
    Their smudged countenances now expressed a profound dejection.
  4. fret
    worry unnecessarily or excessively
    They fretted and complained each to each.
  5. doleful
    filled with or evoking sadness
    There was one who raised a doleful cry.
  6. resplendent
    having great beauty
    The flag was sometimes eaten and lost in this mass of vapor, but more often it projected, sun touched, resplendent.
  7. recur
    happen or occur again
    The words that comrades had uttered previous to the firing began to recur to him.
  8. exalted
    of high moral or intellectual value
    A lad whose face had borne an expression of exalted courage, the majesty of he who dares give his life, was, at an instant, smitten abject.
  9. blanch
    turn pale, as if in fear
    He blanched like one who has come to the edge of a cliff at midnight and is suddenly made aware.
  10. smite
    inflict a heavy blow on, with the hand, a tool, or a weapon
    Death about to thrust him between the shoulder blades was far more dreadful than death about to smite him between the eyes.
  11. zeal
    a feeling of strong eagerness
    So he displayed the zeal of an insane sprinter in his purpose to keep them in the rear.
  12. livid
    furiously angry
    Once one lit before him and the livid lightning of the explosion effectually barred the way in his chosen direction.
  13. impending
    close in time; about to occur
    The men there seemed to be in conventional moods, altogether unaware of the impending annihilation.
  14. infernal
    characteristic of or resembling Hell
    The brigade was hurrying briskly to be gulped into the infernal mouths of the war god.
  15. maniacal
    wildly disordered
    An officer on a bounding horse made maniacal motions with his arms.
  16. commendable
    worthy of high praise
    It was all plain that he had proceeded according to very correct and commendable rules.
  17. enlightened
    having knowledge and spiritual insight
    He, the enlightened man who looks afar in the dark, had fled because of his superior perceptions and knowledge.
  18. tumult
    a state of commotion and noise and confusion
    He shambled along with bowed head, his brain in a tumult of agony and despair.
  19. unison
    the state of corresponding exactly
    They seemed to be grinding their teeth in unison.
  20. trepidation
    a feeling of alarm or dread
    High in a treetop he stopped, and, poking his head cautiously from behind a branch, looked down with an air of trepidation.
  21. melancholy
    a constitutional tendency to be gloomy and depressed
    The corpse was dressed in a uniform that once had been blue, but was now faded to a melancholy shade of green.
  22. lull
    a pause during which things are calm
    There was a lull in the noises of insects as if they had bowed their beaks and were making a devotional pause.
  23. transfixed
    having your attention fixated as though by a spell
    He was transfixed by this terrific medley of all noises.
  24. perfunctory
    as a formality only
    It suddenly occurred to the youth that the fight in which he had been was, after all, but perfunctory popping.
  25. din
    a loud harsh or strident noise
    In the hearing of this present din he was doubtful if he had seen real battle scenes.
  26. havoc
    violent and needless disturbance
    The musketry sounded in long irregular surges that played havoc with his ears.
  27. obscure
    not clearly understood or expressed
    There were some who proceeded sullenly, full of anger at their wounds, and ready to turn upon anything as an obscure cause.
  28. sufficient
    of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement
    After they had walked together for some time the tattered man mustered sufficient courage to speak.
  29. plight
    a situation from which extrication is difficult
    They were discussing his plight, questioning him and giving him advice.
  30. overcome
    win a victory over
    Suddenly, as the two friends marched on, the tall soldier seemed to be overcome by a terror.
  31. enraged
    marked by extreme anger
    He was enraged against the tattered man, and could have strangled him.
  32. strew
    spread by scattering
    He believed that he envied those men whose bodies lay strewn over the grass of the fields and on the fallen leaves of the forest.
  33. scrutiny
    the act of examining something closely, as for mistakes
    In imagination he felt the scrutiny of his companions as he painfully labored through some lies.
  34. virtuous
    morally excellent
    And if he himself could believe in his virtuous perfection, he conceived that there would be small trouble in convincing all others.
  35. compunction
    a feeling of deep regret, usually for some misdeed
    He of course felt no compunctions for proposing a general as a sacrifice.
  36. dishonor
    a state of shame or disgrace
    Without salve, he could not, he thought, wear the sore badge of his dishonor through life.
  37. despicable
    morally reprehensible
    With his heart continually assuring him that he was despicable, he could not exist without making it, through his actions, apparent to all men.
  38. denounce
    speak out against
    He denounced himself as a villain.
  39. insolent
    marked by casual disrespect
    Wherever he went in camp, he would encounter insolent and lingeringly cruel stares.
  40. derisive
    expressing contempt or ridicule
    Then, as if the heads were moved by one muscle, all the faces were turned toward him with wide, derisive grins.

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