Ann Rinaldi's An Acquaintance With Darkness

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Ann Rinaldi, the author of the historical fiction novel, An Acquaintance with Darkness, recounts multiple historical moments, figures and monuments in order to depict her story. Many authors such as Rinaldi herself, modify the truthfulness of the information they’ve portrayed in order to fit their story. When writing a historical fiction novel, one must contemplate whether it is justified to crumble the factual basis of any historical accounts. Arlington National Cemetery is a particular monument that Rinaldi depicts in order to illustrate the grim times of the Civil War. Proof of Ann Rinaldi’s faithfulness to historical accuracy, for the most part, was this depiction of one of the most respected cemeteries in the United States. The cemetery’s…show more content…
Of course, there were exceptions where she had to manipulate the factuality of accounts in order to properly fit an event into her story, but her interpretation of Arlington National Cemetery was not one of them. In the book, Emily, the main protagonist, says, “How would you like it if you came home from the war to find your front lawn turned into a cemetery?” (Rinaldi 59). This sentence references the front lawn of Robert E. Lee, the leader of the Armed Forces of the Confederate States of America. Given the information that this sentence was not said to far before Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, one can infer that it was said after May 13th, 1864, the burial of William Henry Christman, the first military burial at Arlington National Cemetery (“History” NP). Emily also states, “They always take them away in the middle of the night, so people can’t see.”(Rinaldi 53). This statement is also completely factual. As time progressed through the Civil War, cemeteries became full. After the Battle of The Wilderness, a total of 29,800 men died (“The Battle” NP). Therefore, this rendered an order of an examination of eligible land fit for a new, large national cemetery by Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs. Soon
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