The short story “A Mystery of Heroism” by Stephen Crane is a about a soldier in the Civil War who valiantly runs across battlefield to get some water for him and his comrades. After reading “A Mystery of Heroism” the reader can create their own thoughts on whether or not Fred Collins is a hero. One could proclaim that Fred Collins is not a hero.
The reader can see that Fred Collins is not a hero; he is just a man who is thirsty. In the opening page Fred Collins says, “Thunder! I wisht I had a drink. Ain’t there any water round here?” The other men in the company are not concerned about water at this point; they are more concerned with their own lives. When Fred Collins is preparing to make the dangerous trek across the little meadow that was being bombarded with artillery one of the men in the company proclaim about Fred, “We ain’t dyin’ of thirst, are we? That’s foolishness.” The men of the company, and even the captain thought that Fred Collins was making a wrong decision to get some water.
One could make take the stand that Fred Collins was not a hero because he thought about what he was going to do prior to doing in. When people think of a hero most think that a hero is one whom does not have prior thinking before performing an act. For example, a grenade is tossed into a foxhole and a soldier jumps onto the grenade to prevent the other soldiers in the foxhole from being killed. Fred Collins was almost coerced into getting water. The other soldiers in the company said jokingly, “Well, if yeh want a drink so bad, why don’t yeh go git it?”
The reader could also make the statement that Fred Collins is not a hero because he did not help the artillery officer who had fallen in the meadow at first. The artillery officer called out to Collins saying, “Say, young man, give me a drink of water, will you?” Collins screamed out, “I can’t!” Collins ran a few more yards and then turned around and headed back to the artillery officer to give him a...