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Literary Precedents for The Killer Angels

Michael Shaara
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This section contains 236 words
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Literary Precedents

Readers often compare Shaara's fiction to Hemingway's; the similarity lies more in a curious combination of outwardly raw physical courage and inward tenderness — Robert Penn Warren once described Hemingway's soul as a brawny male fist clutching a rose — than in literary style. Shaara uses description far more than Hemingway did, and Shaara's essential subjectivity is remote from Hemingway's famous objective dialogue-dominated prose.

The subject of The Killer Angels and its surfeit of horrors also recalls Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage (1895), but Crane's naturalism denies man's potential for growth, while Shaara's humanistic insistence on the possibility of human nobility, like Hemingway's celebrated "grace under pressure," gives meaning and even hope to one of the most desperate moments in American history.

Shaara's greatest debt, other than to the men who fought and died at Gettysburg, seems owed to Abraham Lincoln. Like Lincoln, Shaara believes that Gettysburg...

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This section contains 236 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Killer Angels Study Guide
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The Killer Angels from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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