Character Analysis Of Chamberlain In Michael Shaara's Killer Angels

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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a very important soldier in the Civil War, and although Chamberlain was a citizen turned soldier rather than a high-ranking officer, he was still able to help lead the Union Army to victory. In the book Killer Angels, written by Michael Shaara, the author provides the reader with perspective from the Union side of the long Civil War through Chamberlain. He reveals Chamberlain’s character through not only direct characterization but also through his decisions, words and actions. He’s a complex character with many faces. The reader gets to know him as an intelligent teacher, a courageous soldier, a decisive leader, a devoted brother and friend. Shaara describes thirty-four year old Chamberlain as being “tall and handsome with a clean and charming personality” (Shaara xix). He was a college professor who wished he could be on the battlefield instead. At first, it is thought that Chamberlain may be somewhat less of soldier because he’s not part of the “Regular Army.” Before going into a battle, Colonel Vincent says ‘“now we’ll see how professors…show more content…
Chamberlain and Kilrain were very close, and it is assumed that Kilrain was a fatherly figure to him. Kilrain, also thinks highly of Chamberlain, saying that he’s “never served under a better man” (Shaara 231). The author also uses conversations about slavery and color between the two to illustrate Chamberlain’s character. Kilrain says “I’ve seen a few blacks who’ve earned my respect” (Shaara 176), prompting Chamberlain to share his thoughts. Chamberlain replies “to me there was never any difference” (Shaara 176). To which Kilrain replies “Colonel, you’re a lovely man” (Shaara 178). Unlike most people back then, Chamberlain very strongly believed that everyone had value and no man was any less of a man because of his color. So Chamberlain fights for liberation, for every man’s
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