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The Killer Angels
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  1. The Killer Angels Thematic Connection Practice

  2. Analyze the theme given below, and write a well-organizedparagraph showing how the theme emerges in the novel. Use 3 precise quotations from different sections of the novel to trace the development of the theme, and include page numbers for the quotations in parentheses ( ) following the quote. Theme: Part of the cost of war is determined by how it changes men.

  3. Strengthen the unity of your writing by using clear, logical inference and explanation to connect the quote to the theme. • Make sure your quotations are in chronological order and use transitional words and phrases to help ideas flow together, strengthening the coherence of your writing.

  4. In your group: • read the quotes you found and verbally connect each to the theme. • determine the three strongest quotes. They need to come from at least 2 sections of the novel and reflect both the Confederate and Union perspectives. • Formulate a topic sentence by focusing your paragraph clearly on the topic. Save details for support.

  5. “A man who has been shot at is a new realist, and what do you say to a realist when the war is a war of ideals?” (28) • “Awake all night in front of Fredericksburg…Piled-up bodies in front of you to catch the bullets, using the dead for a shield; remember the sound? Of bullets in dead bodies?...Love that too? Not love it. Not quite. And yet, I was never so alive.” (118) • “A man loses part of himself, an arm, a leg, and though he has been a fine soldier he is never quite the same again; he has lost nothing else visible, but there is a certain softness in the man thereafter, a slowness, a caution.” (144)

  6. Topic Sentence: Focus your paragraph clearly on the topic. Save details for support. Rough Example: The theme ‘Part of the cost of war is determined by how it changes men’ emerges gradually in Michael Shaara’s novel The Killer Angels.

  7. Supporting details, one quote at a time: • Set up each quote with the section of the novel (the DAY!) and the circumstances. • DO NOT NARRATE THE STORY. Instead use “When…” as though your reader knows the novel well. She does. • Embed your quote in context that connects to the focus of the paragraph, in this case, the THEME! • Use words from your theme and synonyms as you prove the connection to the theme.

  8. Rough Example: In the June 29, 1863 section of the novel, Chamberlain’s personal reflections indicate an expected change in any soldier as the result of battle when he thinks, “A man who has been shot at is a new realist, and what do you say to a realist when the war is a war of ideals?” (28) Regardless of the larger purpose of the war, Chamberlain realizes that the very act of being put in the way of an enemy’s bullet causes men to change perspectives and to experience a new reality. On July 1, when Chamberlain remembers his experience in combat at Fredericksburg, he draws a similar conclusion about the changes in himself:

  9. “Awake all night in front of Fredericksburg…Piled-up bodies in front of you to catch the bullets, using the dead for a shield; remember the sound? Of bullets in dead bodies?...Love that too? Not love it. Not quite. And yet, I was never so alive.” (118) His use of the qualifier ‘yet’ implies something unexpectedly exhilarating. Rather than repel him as the mere description would repel a bystander, the experience thrills him, compounding his feeling of being alive and infusing him with an energyunique to battle. On the same day but on the opposite side of the conflict, Lee examines his belief that life-threatening injuries incurred in battle result in change, specifically a

  10. change in a commander’s capacity to command. His reflections about Ewell’s injury clearly indicate the unexpected change: “A man loses part of himself, an arm, a leg, and though he has been a fine soldier he is never quite the same again; he has lost nothing else visible, but there is a certain softness in the man thereafter, a slowness, a caution.” (144) In the case of commanders suffering significant wounds in battle, therefore, the instinct to preserve life at all costs results in a new hesitance to put soldiers in harm’s way.

  11. Concluding sentence: • Begin drawing the conclusion by highlighting convergence and divergence in quote connections– where are they similar and where distinct? • Wrap up by drawing an ultimate conclusion based on focus of the paragraph Rough Example: Whether invigorating or weakening a man, then, war in the common soldier or the commander necessarily changes them. The losses suffered in battle can vary: Chamberlain seems to lose a sensitivity to the horrors of war while Ewell loses confidence in himself after facing his own mortality. In both cases, however, the changes in the man determine part of the very high cost of war.