An interpretation of the killer angels by michael shaara

Was Lee really to blame for the defeat at Gettysburg?

An interpretation of the killer angels by michael shaara

He made his name writing pulp science fiction in the s.

The Killer Angels Analysis

He later began writing mainstream fiction and was published in many magazines. During a visit to Gettysburg, Shaara saw the battlefield and learned about the battle and its significance. He returned home with the idea to write a historical novel based on the battle.

Most historical novels use fictional characters in historical settings, but Shaara chose to write about the real-life participants in the battle, such as Robert E.

Lee and Joshua L. This unusual decision gives the novel a much more epic tone, but it also causes problems with historical accuracy. Shaara died of a heart attack in But to the surprise of many, including Shaara, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. Nevertheless, The Killer Angels remained a relatively obscure novel until it was adapted into the film Gettysburg, starring Martin Sheen and Jeff Daniels.

With the release of the film, the novel shot to number one on the New York Times bestseller list. The Battle of Gettysburg, which the novel describes, was the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, with over 50, casualties in the span of three days.

Many historians have called it the high-water mark of the Confederacy, when General Robert E. Lee hurled the entire strength of his army at the Union forces in an attempt to end the war by destroying his enemy.

Extract of book report/review "The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara"

Lee had invaded the enemy territory of Pennsylvania for the second time. The first invasion culminated in the Battle of Antietam in Sharpsburg, Maryland, the previous year. By invading, Lee put himself in a position to move toward Washington, D. If he succeeded, the Confederate States of America would likely win the war and gain the right to declare themselves an independent country.

But due to a series of problems, the Confederates were forced to retreat from Gettysburg with terrible losses and never again would move into Union territory. The battle has long held a great fascination for Civil War historians. Scholars agree that, with the heavy casualties and demoralizing defeat suffered by the South, the Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the war—a loss from which the Confederacy never fully recovered.

But the Battle of Gettysburg also has other unique characteristics. It was one of only two major battles fought on Union soil. It was a major Union victory, which at the time was rare. Most important, it was a Union victory when such a victory was desperately needed.

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara Book Report/Review - 1

A Union loss at Gettysburg would have put the capital in jeopardy. The epic scope that this innovation allows him to achieve comes at the cost of historical accuracy, both in the film and in the novel.

While much of his characterization and novelistic interpretation is based on careful study of letters, documents, and historical texts, Shaara does take significant liberties in his portrayal of the characters and their inner thoughts and emotions. Because it is important to explore these characters and events from both literary and historical angles, this SparkNote draws on both the literary aspect of the novel and historical fact and credible opinion regarding the Battle of Gettysburg.The Killer Angels written by Michael Shaara, is a very interesting book that describes the Civil War in vivid detail, specifically the Battle of Gettysburg.

If you are an individual who is enthusiastic about learning about our nation's history and past, then it will be a great choice to purchase this book/5(). 1 Michael Shaara - The Killer Angels Maps by Don Pitcher To Lila (old George) in whom I am well pleased TO THE READER This is the story of the Battle of Gettysburg, told from the viewpoints of Robert E.

Lee and James. Michael Shaara opens The Killer Angels with a note to the reader and explains that while he "condensed some of the action eliminated some minor characters had to choose between conflicting viewpoints," he did not knowingly violate the action or consciously change any fact.

He also notes that the interpretation of the characters is his own.

Themes and Meanings

The Killer Angels, when published in , helped to rehabilitate Longstreet’s reputation, but the presentation of him in a sympathetic light does not necessarily mean that his view of . See a complete list of the characters in The Killer Angels and in-depth analyses of General Robert E.

An interpretation of the killer angels by michael shaara

Lee, Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, and General James Longstreet.

An interpretation of the killer angels by michael shaara

Discussion of themes and motifs in Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels. eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of The Killer Angels so you can excel on your essay or test.

The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2) by Michael Shaara