Rifles For Watie Character Analysis

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Rifles for Watie written by Harold Keith is a novel that is prominently expressing unity after times of tragedy and war in a touching way that shows understanding. The topic and message of the novel is to show how war is a tragedy but you can always be understanding of the opposing side, as well as become united again. The authors topic can be shown through what is written in the novel and by the experiences of the main character Jeff. What else?? One way the content of the novel Rifles for Watie proves the message is how it displays the idea of tolerance for the enemy by experience. Intolerance there must be knowledge and understanding, this supports the part of the message of understanding the enemy. When jeff entered the rebel camp and meets Watie’s men and such as Hooley he grows to care for them and learns about them as well as begins to understand them. Jeff’s understanding of Watie's men is clearly what made the decision for him to…show more content…
Jeffs sympathy towards the enemy is what truly showed him what a tragedy war is. One instance of this is on page 288, “Jeff couldn't watch. He walked off to one side, leaning against the trunk of a big walnut tree, listening to Hooley groan and cure as the surgeon worked.” Jeff cares about and feels bad for Hooley who is suffering in pain after being shot by a union man, even though Hooley is against the union. In this Jeff sees how there is pain, suffering, and the risk of loss for both sides, and this is what is truly a tragedy. He also sees this when Bostwick is killed by his own union side of the army while fighting with Watie's Men. This sympathy supports the author’s message by providing the idea there is a deep understanding between both sides and helping the reader understand how war is a tragedy because both sides suffer. This sympathy could also lead to a desire to unify the nation to end the suffering of both
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