Bull Run Themes & Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 16 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Bull Run.
This section contains 1,752 words
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Fleischman focuses on individual characters whose lives tell of the battle from the points of view of mostly ordinary folks. The only historical figure who actually speaks for himself is General Irvin McDowell, commander of the Union Army. He is portrayed sympathetically; he reluctantly goes into battle with troops that he knows are ill prepared to fight, with junior officers who are too inexperienced, and a lack of the supplies he needs to successfully prosecute a major battle.

Other than McDowell, the speakers who tell their individual stories are fictional. They lead ordinary lives until the Confederacy begins the war by shelling Fort Sumter. The effects of the opening days of the war on ordinary people is the central theme of Bull Run.

Fleischman's choices of characters and choices of what he has them say makes this theme clear. He not only chooses to...

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This section contains 1,752 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Bull Run Short Guide
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Bull Run from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.