Rifles for Watie Social Sensitivity

Harold Keith
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Rifles for Watie shows great sensitivity in dealing with four significant social issues: war, sectional rivalry, racial hostility, and the role of the nonconformist.

Jeff expects war to be exciting and noble, but finds that it is frightening and dirty. The initial training is so dehumanizing that one of his friends deserts, and only Jeff's sense of humor and his loyalty to the Union cause enable him to endure this experience.

His individualistic attitude naturally resists military discipline, keeping him in constant conflict with his superior officers. The dark reality of war negates the glory of Jeffs heroic acts. Though a brave soldier, Jeff cries during his first battle, laments the deaths of his comrades, and is horrified by the amputations he observes. Forced to witness Lee Washbourne's execution, Jeff faces the constant threat of a similar fate while in the custody of Watie's men.

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This section contains 423 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rifles for Watie Study Guide
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