Themes Of The Killer Angels By Michael Shaara

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On July 1st 1863, the Confederate army butted heads with the Union army in one of the most horrific battles of the American Civil War. The book The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara explained the disaster that was called the Battle of Gettysburg. This historical fiction novel took place at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and occurred from July 1st to July 3rd in 1863. The novel discussed how the actions of General Robert E. Lee, General James Longstreet, Colonel Chamberlain and many more men affected the course of events throughout those three long and hot summer days. Michael Shaara truly captured the pressure and stress that follows along with being in charge. To begin with, one major theme that continuously showed up throughout Michael Shaara’s …show more content…

Both the Union and the Confederates believed that they were right in the beliefs that they had fought for. The South thought they were fighting for states rights while the North believed they were fighting to free the slaves. Jim Kemper states“You must tell them, and make it plain, that what we are fighting for is our freedom from the rule of what is to us a foreign government. That's all we want and that's what this war is all about. We established this country in the first place with strong state governments just for that reason, to avoid a central tyranny” (Shaara 61). Jim Kemper was talking about his fellow Confederates and how they didn't want the North dictating what they should do in the South. The war was never about slavery to the South, it was about gaining their independence from the Union. On the other hand, Chamberlain, a Union Colonel, quoted “He had grown up believing in America and the individual and it was a stronger faith than his faith in God. This was the land where no man had to bow. In this place at last a man could stand up free of the past, free of tradition and blood ties and the curse of royalty and become what he wished to become. This was the first place on earth where the man mattered more than the state”(Sharra 26). Chamberlain believed that with this war the slaves could finally fulfill their dreams of being free from the South. That winning this war was the only way for these African Americans to be able to separate from the chains that were holding them

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