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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 1863 (PART II)

"Wednesday" sees the Confederate victory over the Union defenses just north of town, the Union establishment of new defenses south of town, and internal disputes in both camps. Lee debates whether to attack the Union position or swing around between the enemy and Washington; Buford holds out against the Rebel infantry until Reynolds arrives with support; by a stroke of luck Lee’s reinforcements arrive in perfect position to flank Reynolds’ line and the Union troops retreat from the heights north of town to the hills south of town; Chamberlain’s men march through the night to reach Gettysburg; Longstreet discusses the new face of defensive warfare and the role honor plays with Fremantle; Lee receives Ewell and Early’s explanation for allowing the Federals to retreat to the hills south of town; and Buford is confronted by the dispute between Hancock and Howard on his way to receive orders after a long day of battle during which his cavalry unit was decimated.

LEE (Chapter 1 of Part II)

Introduction to Lee and offensive/defensive strategy debate between Lee and Longstreet

Lee wakes up feeling frail. After discussing Stuart’s absence with Taylor, Lee’s chief of staff, Lee orders the raiding parties to return some food to the local starving civilians and to give back a blind horse to his elderly owner. Venable then tells Lee of Pender and Pender’s wife, who has condemned her husband for invading Pennsylvania and thereby becoming the aggressor.

Lee then meets with Longstreet and the two discuss the fact that no help can be expected from Europe, how to deal with Stuart, General Hill’s plan to march into Gettysburg, and what to do in the face of Meade’s approaching army. Lee wants to hit the new Union commander as he comes up, Longstreet wants to "swing round between him and Washington and get astride some nice thick rocks and make him come to us."

The chapter ends as Lee and Longstreet’s discussion is interrupted by sounds of artillery from the direction of the town, evidence that Hill has run into the Buford defenses that were mistaken for militia.


STYLE

Extended Metaphor & Juxtaposition & Simile:

"Some of them saw the white head and came to the fence to stare at him... Troops were gathering along the rail fence, looking in at him. He heard a man cry a raucous greeting. Another man shushed him in anger...A bareheaded boy stood in reverent silence, black hat clutched to his breast...Lee took a deep breath, resting his chest: a windblown vacancy, a breathless pain. He had a sense of enormous unnatural fragility, like hollow glass." (p.73) Lee is repeatedly compared to some kind of god, his men seem to worship him and watch him in respectful awe. But later, despite the fact that he is perceived as godlike, we find that in reality he is mortal and susceptible to the effects of age. This godlike vs. human, perception vs. reality comparison is a study in contrasts, a juxtaposition.

Character’s Perception of Reality:

"The ground rocked." (p.73) The ground didn’t really rock, but Lee thought it did because he was ill. Authors can manipulate point of view and the reader should be aware of the difference between what is being told vs. what’s really true. Subjective accounts (such as chapters from a single character’s perspective) are not objective reports of reality--the rocking ground statement forces the reader to remember that.

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