In the novel Shiloh, historian and Civil War expert Shelby Foote delivers a spare, unflinching account of the battle of Shiloh, which was fought over the course of two days in April 1862. By mirroring the troops' movements through the woods of Tennessee with the activity of each soldier's mind, Foote offers the reader a broad perspective of the battle and a detailed view of the issues behind it. The battle becomes tangible as Foote interweaves the observations of Union and Confederate officers, simple foot soldiers, brave men, and cowards and describes the roar of the muskets and the haze of the gun smoke. The author's vivid storytelling creates a rich chronicle of a pivotal battle in American history.
This book is a wonderful example of his abilities and deals with the battle of Shiloh through the eyes of several men on both sides of the conflict. His characters are not the generals on the field, rather they are common soldiers ranging from privates who have never seen battle up to a colonel (Forrest) -- people that don't have all the answers, others who are still searching for the questions. The wonderful thing about Foote's writing is his ability to make you feel like you were there without bogging the story down with too many numbers and statistics, but allowing the viewer a much deeper understanding of the events of the battle by giving us a glimpse through the eyes of those who were there.
Foote is one of the great authorities on the War, and though he wrote this when pretty young it is still filled with detail and knowledge of the war. It conveys well the chaos of the fighting and how, as so often, small failures of generalship cost the battle
Shelby Foote's Shiloh is a novel about a real Civil War battle told from the point of view of a few common soldiers, both northern and southern, who fought there. Because he chose to depict the action from these points of view, he limits what can be said of the big picture. If one can ignore that big picture, the book works very well at showing the reader what the experience must have been like for individuals caught up in different parts of the fight. Yet needing to provide some of that picture, Foote has each character present background on specific generals and their actions leading up to Shiloh. This exposition is, for the most part, pretty clumsy and simply detracts from ...
... middle of paper ...
...the most horrifying part of the surgeries was the absence of anesthesia and antiseptics. Each hurt man would have to be held down as he experienced excruciating pain, but many passed out and later died of infection. Finally, I realized how much suffering two opposing forces can bring upon one country: dying soldiers, devastated country, and unbearable sadness. For example, Foote describes the mile-long lines of men from the South and North opposing each other. Each side would test the cannon's range, and, after a while, would be destroying huge groups of men and creating gaping holes in the earth. As a northern infantryman said as he watched the mini balls cut down his friends, "they died for nothing" (p.191). The front line would also shoot grapeshot that would burst into thousands of tiny pieces and destroy the other army's front line. All of Shiloh was about two sides of America fighting over slaver! y and secession. About 26, 000 men died without respect, a prayer, or a marked grave. Shiloh is a historically accurate book that would interest anyone who likes to read about the Civil War and wants to understand the pain and suffering our country went through on April 6-7, 1862.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Shiloh Chapter Summaries The novel, “Shiloh” by Shelby Foote is a fictional recreation of the bloody battle. The story begins with the soldiers of the Confederate Army heading towards Pittsburg Landing. The men are marching in terrible conditions. It is pouring down rain and they are dragging their tired legs through the mud. The troops come to a halt so the commanders can talk to General Johnston. General Johnston says the only way they might have a chance is if they plan a surprise attack. As the sergeants hand the men their guns, they are told to check the powder in case it got wet in the rain.... [tags: Confederates, war, self-preservation]
1391 words (4 pages)
- Leroy and Norma Jean in the short story, “Shiloh” by Bobbie Ann Mason, are a married couple, and they experience a series of events, which shapes them and determines there future. The final setting, Shiloh, works well to highlight the battles of war to the battles between Norma Jean and Leroy. Throughout the story Mason is focused on the persistency of grief, the instability of gender roles, along with the distance and lack of communication separating Leroy and Norma Jean from each other.... [tags: Bobbi Ann Mason, Shiloh]
1156 words (3.3 pages)
- The setting in the short story “Shiloh” by Bobbie Ann Mason works well to accentuate the theme of the story. The theme portrayed by Mason is that most people change along with their environment, with the exception of the few who are unwilling to adapt making it difficult for things such as marriage to work out successfully. These difficulties are apparent in Norma Jean and Leroy’s marriage. As Norma Jean advances herself, their marriage ultimately collapses due to Leroy’s unwillingness to adapt with her and the changing environment.... [tags: Shiloh by Bobbie Ann Mason]
560 words (1.6 pages)
- Shiloh by Bobbie Ann Mason Character Sketch In Bobbie Ann Mason’s story “Shiloh” she presents the character of Norma Jean as having a strong personality but an emptiness deep within. Norma Jean is presented as a strong character on the outside in the opening of the story. “She lifts three-pound dumbbells to warm-up, the progresses to a twenty-pound barbell.”(Mason p. 46). However as the story progresses she exhibits the emptiness which she feels. “One day Leroy arrives home from a drive and finds Norma Jean in tears.” (Mason p.... [tags: Shiloh Bobbie Ann Mason Essays]
735 words (2.1 pages)
- Up until recently, the definition of what a man or a woman should be has been defined, with boundaries, by society; males should be strong, dominant figures and in the workplace providing for their families while females should be weak and submissive, dealing with cleaning, cooking and children. Any veering away from these definitions would have disrupted the balance of culture completely. A man playing housewife was absurd, and a woman being the sole provider for the family bizarre. In Alice Munro’s short story “Boys and Girls” and Bobbie Ann Mason’s “Shiloh”, conflict arises when expectations based on gender are not fulfilled by the characters.... [tags: Boys and Girls, Shiloh]
1071 words (3.1 pages)
- Power in O'Connor's The Artificial Nigger and Mason's Shiloh Flannery O'Connor's story The Artificial Nigger and Bobbie Ann Mason's story Shiloh both possess characters that excercise power . Mr. Head, the main character that exercises power in The Artificial Nigger, is an old racist man, who claims to know everything. In Mason's story, Norma Jean, a simple southern woman who wants change in her life, is the main character that exercises power. Both characters are similar in their successful exercise of power; however, the effects their power have are different.... [tags: Artificial Nigger Mason's Shiloh Essays]
822 words (2.3 pages)
- Shiloh After Shiloh the South would never smile again. Known originally as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, The Battle of Shiloh was the bloodiest battle fought in North America up to that time. Pittsburg Landing was an area from where the Yankees planned to attack the Confederates who had moved from Fort Donelson to Corinth, Mississippi. The North was commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant and the South by General Albert Sydney Johnston. The Union army was taken by surprise the first day when the Confederate Army unexpectedly attacked, but after Union reinforcements arrived the fighting virtually ended in a tie.... [tags: essays papers]
1191 words (3.4 pages)
- Shiloh Shiloh, a story about a family broken apart because of differences, is set in the south. Kentucky or Tennessee, a young woman, Norma Jean, and her husband rent a small house. Norma is not used to having her him around the house, but because of a trucking accident, he is forced to stay at home. Shiloh, a Civil War battle town, happened to be one of the bloodiest, most heart breaking battles throughout the entire war. Over 3500 men were killed.... [tags: Papers]
374 words (1.1 pages)
- The Second Battle of Shiloh The switch to college life can definitely change people. In high school, one makes friends that will hopefully last a lifetime. Then comes senior year, and after all the college admissions letters have been received, one must face the realization that his/her best friends will not be by their side 24 hours a day / 7 days a week any longer. Still ecstatic by what this new life, college, holds for them, students enter into their chosen institute of higher learning.... [tags: essays research papers]
1236 words (3.5 pages)
- Shiloh There are several elements of literature that can be analyzed when discussing a good short or long story. The elements are plot, characterization, theme, setting, point of view, irony and symbolism. I read the short story Shiloh and have chosen to discuss the plot of this story. This is a great story expressing the way miscommunication in a marriage can tear the marriage apart. This is story is told in the first person by Leroy Moffitt. He is the main character who deals with conflicts within himself, his wife, and the environment around him.... [tags: essays research papers]
991 words (2.8 pages)