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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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Minor Themes

Human Nature (Aversion to outsiders): Harrison mentally argues that the army hates spies because they are a united group whereas he is an individual acting alone.

Human Nature (optimism)

Human Nature (evil tendencies): Harrison is threatened with execution by a Confederate private: "Why do there have to be men...who enjoy another manís dying?" (p.6)

Human Nature (monkey tricks): "The spy chatted on amiably. He seemed to need to talk." (p.11) The spyís talking provides a distraction from the horrors of the war. Developing these little habits is a natural human reaction to crisis or disturbing circumstances. Joseph Conrad labeled such habits or self- imposed duties "monkey tricks" in his novel Heart of Darkness.

Stuartís Absence

Gentlemen: Ironic contrast between Stuart and Harrison. Harrison is considered a dishonorable dog, but he gets the crucial information about the Union position; Stuart is an enlisted gentleman but he leaves the Confederate army blind when he leaves to joyride


Intuition

Union vs. Confederacy: the disgrace of so many able-bodied men throughout the North not volunteering for their army-- which touches on the Southern honor that Lee exemplifies.

Management (politics): Meade replacing Hooker as Union head command

Warís effects (numbing): The spyís nonchalant comment that "thereíll be some of them die of the heat today." (p.3)

Chamberlain vs. Kilrain: "There are many people, General, who donít give a damn for a human soul, do you know that? The strange thing is, after playing this poor fool farmer for a while I canít help but feel sorry for him. Because nobody cares." (p.12)

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