The Veteran


Crane, Stephen


Short Story


Stephen Crane was a New Jersey-based writer who began his career as a freelance journalist in New York City and wrote his first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, in 1893. His second novel, The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War earned him fame and professional success as a war correspondent. “The Veteran” tells the story of Mr. Fleming, a war veteran who fulfilled his honor during and after his war days. Crane’s short story inspires dialogue about war, veterans, courage, patriotism, and senses of duty.

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Published in The Red Badge of Courage and The Veteran (2000)




Leadership and Responsibility

Big Questions

How does a person become a leader?What do we expect from the people we lead? What do we expect from our own leaders?


Taking Action

Sample Discussion Questions

  1. What do we learn about Mr. Fleming in the beginning of the story?
  2. What do we learn about Mr. Fleming toward the end of the story?
  3. Did your opinion of Mr. Fleming change between the beginning and the end of the story? Why or why not?
  4. Do you think that Mr. Fleming was cowardly in his first battle? In his second?
  5. Why does Mr. Fleming go back into the barn to save the colts, even though the men say it is “sure death”?
  6. What makes someone a coward?
  7. When to you feel cowardly in your day-to-day life? When do you feel brave?
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