Date of Award

Summer 7-30-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kelly DeLong, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Susan Wright, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Viktor Osinubi, Ph.D.


Stephen Crane relayed two significant American war stories in The Red Badge of Courage (1895) and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893). While one bildungsroman details aspects of the American Civil War, the other unveils a subtler, societal war transpiring within the slums of New York City. Henry, the protagonist of The Red Badge of Courage, combats psychological turmoil when facing his terrors of war. Conversely, Maggie, the protagonist of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, remains naively unaware of the social war occurring within her New York community, the Bowery. Crane’s works suggest that inner-city New York may be as perilous as combat in the American Civil War. Crane posits that Naturalism extends beyond physical, environmental influences to also include psychological, emotional influences. Whether affected by influences of emotionality or physicality, Henry and Maggie stumble toward societal acceptance and become one with their war-torn environment.