The Killer Angels Analysis

The Killer Angels Analysis - T H M E These two pieces of...

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T H M E These two pieces of literature on the civil war, Michael Shaara’s novel The Killer Angels and Carol Reardon’s article “The Pickett’s Charge Nobody Knows” both give different and valuable points about the battle of Gettysburg and the civil war in general. The Killer Angels does a great job of giving the reader deeper insight into the motivations for the war, and what each side thought the other was fighting for. It also gave a detailed picture of important characters personalities. While this is just one mans interpretation I believe that it is very useful in achieving and understanding of these great men long since passed on. In Reardon’s article however there is a different approach taken. Her main points are that in this huge battle we will never know exactly what happened. She does a great job of explaining that it was not some mystical fairy tale that you can read and comprehend very quickly. The first advantage of The Killer Angels is the attention it pays to why each side was fighting the war. The book does a good job of describing each side’s position and what they believed to be the other sides’ position. The book shows that both sides believed that they were morally in the right, and that in the end god would side with them. Like all wars no side thought of themselves as the “bad guys”.
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It is Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain who states best what the north was fighting for. He says “he was fighting for the dignity of man and in that way he was fighting for himself. If men were equal in America, all these former Poles and English and Czechs and blacks, then they were equal everywhere, and there was really no such thing as foreigner; there were only free men and slaves. And so it was not even patriotism but a new faith. The Frenchman may fight for France, but the American fights for mankind, for freedom; for the people, not the land (Shaara, 27).” This very elegantly states the reason most northerners volunteered for the war. This ideal of fighting a war unlike any other inspired many northerners to go and fight. Chamberlain also states “This is a different kind of army. If you look at history you’ll see men fight for pay, or women, or
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course HIST 355 taught by Professor Fritz during the Spring '08 term at Montana.

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The Killer Angels Analysis - T H M E These two pieces of...

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