Books and Movies Reviews

Killer Angels

"It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.No book or music would have that beauty.He did not understand it; a mile of men flowing slowly, steadily, inevitably up the long green ground, dying all the while, coming to kill you, and the shell bursts appearing above them like instant white flowers, and the flags all tipping and fluttering, and dimly you could hear the music and the drums, and then you could hear the officers screaming, and yet even above your own fear came the sensation of unspeakable beauty (Shaara 342)."The Battle of Gettysburg, amongst others, provides a sense for the war in two different stipulations; the battle is portrayed in a sense of both the beauty and horror of war.One may even think that the effects of the war created a state of mind, or psychology, on the men.This mental state virtually forced the men to view the war in a sense of beauty, for if they didn't, the war could have driven them into an even deeper state of confusion.Michael Shaara's purpose in writing The Killer Angels was to show the beauty and horror of war and the mindset this paradox created.
Later during the second day of battle, Chamberlains' brigade forms the left flank of the Union line.If he withdraws, then the whole line will break and the Union will lose the hill.However, if the Union line waits for a confederate charge, the flanks of the army will go, thus breaking the line anyway.Chamberlain thought that their positioning was fine, even though the confederates were moving.The only recourse was that they couldn't retreat and they couldn't stay where they were.An idea formed; "Lets fix bayonets," Chamberlain said.And so began a bayonet charge that saved the day, the battle, and perhaps the Union.It is here that Shaara most fully captures the awful fact that, for all its horrors, we love war and recognize it as beauty–the heroism, the camaraderie, the sacrif…


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