In a fighting scene, we see how he is filled with an "intense hate" (111) and when he "was firing, when all those near him had ceased. He was so engrossed in his occupation that he was not aware of a lull" (111). After this incident, Henry throws himself down "like a man who had been thrashed" (111). Those around him saw him as "a war devil" (112).
Here we see how Henry has an animal instinct to fighting and it makes him look like a madman. Here we get an example of how we are aware of Henry's thoughts and feelings as well as what is going on around him. Crane also allows us to see the reactions of those around him to emphasize what it is that Henry is experiencing. By leaving the narrative to Henry's experiences alone, we are more apt to believe that it really happened to him.
In addition, when Henry does earn his "badge" it is not in the most noble of ways. However, Crane allows us to see how Henry has been changed by the overall event of the war -- not just by winning his badge. We read that Henry "felt a quiet manhood, non-assertive but of sturdy and strong blood... He had been in touch with the great death... He was a man" (154). In this passage, Crane is telling us how Henry has evolved. Witnessing war was one thing but surviving it was another. He smiles because he knows that the world is waiting for him now that the nightmare of war is over. We read that Henry can gaze into the future "with a lover's thirst to images of tranquil skies, fresh meadows, cool brooks -- an existence of soft and eternal peace" (155). An interesting aspect about this scene is that it can be interpreted with a certain amount of irony. Because of Crane's writing style, we are left to make this decision on our own.
In Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman, the Requiem offers us incredible ironies. Happy seems to be more like his father than Biff is. Biff comments how Willie had the "wrong dreams" (Miller 1113), signifying that Willie spent his entire life doing the wrong thing and trying to be something that he was not. We are told that Happy gets angry at this point and says that this was not true. In addition, Charley states:
For a salesman, there's no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back -- that's an earthquake... A salesman is got to dream. (1113)
Upon hearing this, Happy becomes even more irritated. It is as if Happy does not want to face the truth about his life much like father did not want to face the truth.
When Biff tells Happy that he should go with him, Happy states that he is going to stay in the city and he is "gonna beat this racket" (1113). This statement sounds just like something Willy would say. He even suggests the Loman Brothers, to which Biff replies, "I know who I am, kid" (1113). Biff and happy seem to be exact opposites.
Happy also tells them, "I'm gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. it's the only dream that you can have -- to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I'm gonna win it for him" (113). Again, Happy sounds just like his father. While he wants to believe that Willy did not die in vain, he is going about proving that in the wrong way. The truth is that he cannot prove it -- he can only live his life. He allows his love for his father to cloud his thinking.
While Happy cannot separate his love for Willy and Willy's mistakes, Biff seems to be just the opposite. Biff knew exactly what was wrong with Willy and he seems determined not to make the same mistakes as his father did.
Bierce, Ambrose. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek." The Norton Introduction to Literature. Bain, Carl, ed. New York W.W. Norton and Company. 1991.
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. New York: Aerie Books Ltd. 1986.