The War in The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

The author of The Killer Angels is Michael Shaara. Michael Shaara is a famous American author of many different types of fiction books or stories, such as science fiction, sports fiction, and historical fiction. He was born in 1928 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The University that he graduated is Rutgers University in 1951 and during his college days, his one goal is to become a writer. He joins Theta Chi and served in the Korean War as a sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division prior. Before Michael Shaara begins to publishing many award-writing science-fiction short stories in the early 1950’s, he is an amateur boxer and police officer. He is also starts to write straight fiction, and publishes more than 70 short stories in such magazines as Playboy, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post, and many others. Television dramas use two of his stories to present in the late 1950’s. During his writing of fiction stories, he teaches literature at Florida State University in Tallahassee. During the early 1960’s, he starts working on his first novel, mainly about a story of a soldier who becomes a prizefighter after he returns home from the Korean War. In 1968, The Broken Place was published by New American Library. He gains many stress from writing fiction books or stories and teaching so he starts relying on cigarette smoking and coffee which causes a heart attack at his early age of 36, but he recovers completely. After seven year, The Battle of Gettysburg, The Killer Angels that he writes is rejected by the first fifteen publishers who saw the manuscript. Finally, in 1973, it was bought by the small independent publisher, The David McKay Company. During 1975, the novel, Battle of Gettysburg, The Killer Angels, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Although it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, but not many audiences enjoy personalized story of our nation’s most horrible chapter. Which cause him very disappointed, so his writing veered off in different directions. There is always surrounded by the turbulent political climate in Florida State University in the 1960s, so he is writing the novel, A Rebel in Autumn, which is focused on a violent confrontation between radical students and the ‘establishment’, but never find a publisher. He is struggling to maintain the quality of his writing after he is suffering the effects of a devastating motorcycle accident. He publishes a novel, The Herald in 1981. During May 5, 1988, Michael Shaara passes away, but although his novel, The Killer Angels, is not very popular while he is alive, but five years later, the film Gettysburg was released, which makes The Killer Angels to number one on the New York Times Bestseller List.

The novel, The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara is through the perspective of the main generals of the warring parties to promote the development of the plot, draw a magnificent image of the hero group. The highest commander of this battle, Robert Lee, is like a person worshipped on the altar. He used to be the president of the West Point Military Academy. There are many generals in the North and the South who are his students. Not only that, Li is a gentleman who has no bad habits, is humble and courteous, cares for his subordinates, and never evades responsibility. For the southern soldiers, he is almost a father-like role. When their most beloved General Lee rested, the army of 15,000 people automatically passed by his tent, and it was automatically crippled, just to not wake him up. Li was a southerner, but before the outbreak of the civil war, he had been serving in the federal army. When the South preached separation, he was opposed. When the war just started, President Lincoln even invited him to be the high commander of the Northern Army. Li did not want to attack his hometown and resolutely withdrew from the federal army and joined the South Army. As soon as he entered the military camp, he could not help himself. At the beginning of the book, Robert Lee led the 70,000-strong army to cross the Potomac River and burned the war to the land of the north, violating the vow that he never invaded. At the Battle of Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee insisted on using human flesh tactics to attack the highlands. He has an unshirkable responsibility for the loss. However, the war has lasted longer than everyone expected. The old man who needs to be convinced knows his energy is limited. The idea of ​​a battle is also excusable. After the end of the war, he put down his weapon and asked his men to do the same. If it was not for his great prestige, the civil war might not end so early. Longstreet is Lee’s right arm and the most important person in the book, or it can be said that it is the most tragic person. That winter, his three sons died in a week, and his wife was indulged in sorrow. The poker player was insulated from laughter. After the death of ‘StoneWall Jackson’, he became the most important lord of Li. For this reason, he is often compared with Jackson. Both are excellent generals, Jackson’s bravery is unmatched, and Longstreet is more calm and rational. He did not agree with the Napoleonic charge, but his defense tactics were rarely understood or appreciated. Those who are straightforward often do not know how to change. After the defeat of the war, no one blames General Li (although Lee has all his responsibilities on his own body), but he has no rumors about it and caused public anger. After the war, Longstreet joined the Republican Party in the north, hoping to join hands with the old buddies to rebuild the South. It was regarded as a changer and became the ‘most hated person of the Southerners.’

The narrative clues of this book are bifurcated, and the plot of the story is relatively broken. Like the characters in the novel, we are in the midst of a fateful speculation, uncertain values, and chaos and tension in the target chaos. Many viewpoints and concepts that seem to be taken for granted are showing their embarrassing side. Some of the issues are almost ambiguous and even ‘politically incorrect.’ The author’s brushstroke touches on the legitimacy of the war itself. The author reminds us that the United States has a state after the state, the state power does not succumb to sovereignty, there is such a check and balance to have the founding of the United States, and the South has the support of the Federal Supreme Court on the issue of slavery, so this war is not just The so-called ‘also liberating black people’ and ‘maintaining unity’ in the north are also constitutional and legal issues that the South has relied on (we call ‘rebellion’). The ‘freedom’ of the United States based on the noble words of the founding of the country, the author’s question is more fierce, when the Northern Army ordered a request to shoot the soldiers who refused to fight, the author borrowed the order of the commander Chamberlain to ask: ‘You How can one force a person to fight? For freedom?! Deprivation of liberty for freedom, what is the difference between the South and the enslavement for freedom?’, Chamberlain felt that in front of these soldiers, it was simply hypocritical to talk about ‘defending the principle of hometown’ or using ‘mother’ to lyrical.

This book is a narration of the multi-voice department goes hand in hand, not only means that the monopoly of a single ideology is broken, but also the description of people to a richer level. The generals in the book, it’s difficult reading and if the readers do not have basic knowledge and background of the war, it will be hard to follow through the book and hard to get the main idea of what Michael Shaara wants to express in his writing. The good part is basically follow what happened in the war and which can help the reader acknowledge about the situation of the war. Based on many different reviews of the readers and magazines, The New York Times comments, “Yet it is not quite clear from this book why a straightforward narrative would not have served Mr. Shaara as well as the fictional form he chose.” Which emphasize that Mr. Shaara has used his own style of writing to make the book of war stories more easily to understand the situation of the story and engage into it. The best part of the book, Mr. Shaara put the maps and brief summary about the war which help the reader to know what happened and do not get confused while reading the book.

Overall The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara is divided into two parts. The first part consists of a summary, a list of people, an outline of the military structure of the two sides, a foreword, critical comments by famous experts, outlines, comments, and so on. The second part of the text is also very maverick. The language he writes, he illustrates his own view of the war but mostly based on realistic which happened during the war, the characters he uses are also real people who join and appear in the war. The book teaches the reader that everyone needs to have the courage to do things; in the book, without the courage, there will no have the Battle of Gettysburg and no Killer Angels.

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