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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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His Thoughts On Duty

‘I once swore to defend this ground...No matter.’ " (p.79) Lee is speaking of his time with the U.S. army, during which he made a vow to defend the land from its enemies. Now, due to his loyalty to his state’s interests, he is the U.S.’s number one enemy.


His Realist Tendencies

"I swore to defend. Now I invade. A soldier, no theologian." (p.79) Although Lee is at heart an idealist (he takes chances and optimistically considers the war in God’s hands, he puts etiquette above practicality, he sees passion as more important than numbers in battles) he does have a few realist tendencies.

One of these tendencies is his putting higher priority on "doing" than "thinking"--he will shoot first (win the war) and ask questions later (was winning the war morally the right thing to do?). Lee is sometimes pragmatic because he does not want to consider the moral implications of his actions for fear that such thinking might hinder his success. Chamberlain, however, is more of an idealist in this area in that he gives a good amount of though to whether or not his actions (leading Union troops) are morally just. See his speech to the mutineers for his moral arguments (page 27).

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