Analysis of Shaara´s Killer Angels

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Shaara’s novel Killer Angels shows the battle of Gettysburg through a number of unique viewpoints. Shaara offers a more intimate view of the battle than other Civil War novels. A reader can see the battle through the eyes of both Union and Confederate leaders. Through the novel the reader is able to see why each character is fighting and what they hope to gain from the war. Readers can also see the effect that the war has on the different characters. I will examine the war through the eyes of several different characters from Shaara’s novel. The causes of the war and reasons for fighting parallel each other. The primary cause of the Civil War was the issue regarding slavery. The issue of slavery is brought up several times throughout the book. Arthur Fremantle, the British observer, believed that the South was fighting to protect slavery and their way of life. Colonel Chamberlain also mentioned slavery as a reason for the war and stated that he found it to be appalling. Despite racism and prejudice in the North, many northerners still believed that the slaves should be freed. They saw the institution of slavery as contradictory to the Bible and civilized society. Colonel Chamberlain mentioned that he was fighting for the “dignity of man” (pg. 27). The South was feeling pressure from anti-slavery and abolitionist groups in the North. The South felt that the North was trying to destroy the southern way of life. The North on the other hand, had become more successful in industry and didn’t seem to understand the importance of slavery in the South. The South’s entire society and social structure was based on slavery and they were not willing to end the entire system. The South argued that slaves had their place at... ... middle of paper ... ...neration of politicians that were too dedicated to their own cause and system of beliefs. There were many reasons that the Civil War broke out. There were differences in the politics, society, and economies of the North and South. Each side had their own reasons for fighting in the war and for not being willing to compromise. The North felt they needed to hold the Union together and end the institution of slavery, while the South felt their rights were being encroached upon and secession was the only way for them to be free. Through the book I was able to see a variety of viewpoints and examine the battle of Gettysburg from individual perspectives. The Civil War was a low point in American history but many valuable lessons came from the war as well. You can see the importance of compromise and gain an appreciation for those that held our country together.
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