"The Red Badge of Courage," Vocabulary from Ch's 12-18

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. obstacle
    something that stands in the way and must be surmounted
    THE column that had butted stoutly at the obstacles in the roadway was barely out of the youth's sight before he saw dark waves of men come sweeping out of the woods and down through the fields.
  2. interminable
    tiresomely long; seemingly without end
    The voices of the cannon were clamoring in interminable chorus.
  3. thither
    to or toward that place; away from the speaker
    Presently, men were running hither and thither in all ways.
  4. tremendous
    extraordinarily large in extent or amount or power
    The youth began to imagine that he had got into the center of the tremendous quarrel, and he could perceive no way out of it.
  5. interrogation
    an instance of questioning
    The youth, after rushing about and throwing interrogations at the heedless bands of retreating infantry, finally clutched a man by the arm.
  6. pallor
    unnatural lack of color in the skin
    His face was of a clammy pallor.
  7. swoon
    pass out from weakness or physical or emotional distress
    His dulled senses wished him to swoon and he opposed them stubbornly, his mind portraying unknown dangers and mutilations if he should fall upon the field.
  8. secluded
    hidden from general view or use
    He imagined secluded spots where he could fall and be unmolested.
  9. remonstrance
    the act of expressing earnest opposition or protest
    The soft air was filled with the tremendous remonstrance.
  10. precaution
    the trait of practicing carefulness in advance
    He held his head very still and took many precautions against stumbling.
  11. inadequate
    lacking the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task
    His head seemed swollen to a size that made him think his neck to be inadequate.
  12. array
    an orderly grouping
    He saw his clothes in disorderly array upon the grass of the bank.
  13. assent
    agree or express agreement
    The youth did not look up, but he assented with thick tongue.
  14. valor
    courage when facing danger
    In encounters with guards and patrols he displayed the keenness of a detective and the valor of a gamin.
  15. vast
    unusually great in size or amount or extent or scope
    The forest seemed a vast hive of men buzzing about in frantic circles, but the cheery man conducted the youth without mistakes, until at last he began to chuckle with glee and self satisfaction.
  16. languid
    lacking spirit or liveliness
    A warm and strong hand clasped the youth's languid fingers for an instant, and then he heard a cheerful and audacious whistling as the man strode away.
  17. confront
    deal with head on
    Of a sudden he confronted a black and monstrous figure.
  18. falter
    move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
    There was a faltering in his voice.
  19. submit
    yield to the control of another
    He submitted passively to the latter's directing strength.
  20. vacant
    void of thought or knowledge
    He stared with a vacant look into the fire.
  21. protruding
    extending out above or beyond a surface or boundary
    The shoes displayed the mud or dust of marches and bits of rounded trousers, protruding from the blankets, showed rents and tears from hurried pitchings through the dense brambles.
  22. forlorn
    marked by or showing hopelessness
    The youth sat in a forlorn heap until his friend the loud young soldier came, swinging two canteens by their light strings.
  23. reproof
    an act or expression of criticism and censure
    After the reproof the youth said no more.
  24. envelop
    enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering
    The warm comfort of the blanket enveloped him and made a gentle languor.
  25. peremptory
    not allowing contradiction or refusal
    An officer's peremptory tenor rang out and quickened the stiffened movement of the men.
  26. trifle
    consider not very seriously
    His friend looked a trifle amazed.
  27. hideous
    grossly offensive to decency or morality; causing horror
    He had been out among the dragons, he said, and he assured himself that they were not so hideous as he had imagined them.
  28. discretion
    power of making choices unconstrained by external agencies
    As for himself, he had fled with discretion and dignity.
  29. fracas
    noisy quarrel
    From the right came the noise of a terrific fracas.
  30. wrangle
    quarrel noisily, angrily, or disruptively
    It seemed that the cannon had come from all parts and were engaged in a stupendous wrangle.
  31. abject
    of the most contemptible kind
    Inwardly he was reduced to an abject pulp by these chance words.
  32. temerity
    fearless daring
    He paused, ready to pounce upon any man who might have the temerity to reply.
  33. denote
    have as a meaning
    In the regiment there was a peculiar kind of hesitation denoted in the attitudes of the men.
  34. retort
    a quick reply to a question or remark
    A moment later the regiment roared forth its sudden and valiant retort.
  35. engrossed
    giving or marked by complete attention to
    He was so engrossed in his occupation that he was not aware of a lull.
  36. incomprehensible
    difficult to understand
    Sometimes his voice could be heard in a wild, incomprehensible laugh.
  37. respite
    a relief from harm or discomfort
    THE ragged line had respite for some minutes, but during its pause the struggle in the forest became magnified until the trees seemed to quiver from the firing and the ground to shake from the rushing of the men.
  38. bluster
    noisy confusion and turbulence
    From all the interwoven forest arose the smoke and bluster of the battle.
  39. dexterous
    skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands
    The general reined strongly at his charger's opened and foamy mouth and guided it with dexterous horsemanship past the man.
  40. alignment
    the spatial property possessed by things in a straight line
    A moment later the officers began to bustle among the men, pushing them into a more compact mass and into a better alignment.

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