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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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"...Steaming coffee in a metal cup. Lee took it in pained hands, drank, felt the heat soak down through him like hot liquid sunshine. The dizziness passed. There was fog flat and low in the treetops, like a soft roof. (p.73)

"He had a sudden rushing sensation of human frailty, death like a blowing wind: Jackson was gone, Stuart would go, like leaves from autumn trees." (p.74)

"Head thick as a stump." (p.80) Lee’s perception of Longstreet.

"Lee felt a sudden strength. It came out of Longstreet like sunlight." (p.81)

"They rode through soft green rounded hills....moving toward adventure as rode the plumed knights of old." (p.84)

"Up ahead, in the mist, A.P. Hill probes toward Gettysburg like a blind hand." (p.77) This quotation also touches on the Stuart’s Absence theme.

"Lee felt a deeper spasm, like a black stain." (P.79) This quotation touches on the War Truth theme and shows that emotion pain is greater than physical pain.

"The roads all converged, weblike, to Gettysburg. And where’s the spider?" (p.79) This excerpt also contains a metaphor.


"Lee came slowly awake, back to the misty world." The mist represents the fact that the world is not clear, not black and white. There is much moral gray area, for example, there are no clear good and evil forces in the civil war. (p.74)

"I swore to defend. Now I invade...Misty matters." (p.79) Matters are misty because they are not morally clear.

"There was no hunger in the glassy chest." (p.77)

"They rode out into a space in the great gray bristling stream." (p.84) The stream is the crowd of marching Confederate (gray uniformed) soldiers.

"There was still fog in the trees, caught in the branches like fragments of white summer." (p.85)

Synecdoche: "The clear black eyes were concerned." Shaara is referring to the entire body and person of Taylor by mentioning only his eyes. Using a part to represent a whole is called a synecdoche. (p.74)

Repetition & Stuart’s Absence & Irony: "Lee remembered Longstreet’s spy. If it is Union cavalry, there will be infantry close behind it." (p.76) In case you missed the first three references, Harrison and others in low command say there’s cavalry in Gettysburg, but General Hill discounts such reports. There’s yet another reference on page 83.

Allusion: " ‘Napoleon knew a thing or two.’ " (p.77) Napoleon was the first general to use canned food to feed his armies--thus his troops were generally better fed.

Synecdoche & Lee vs. Longstreet: "Now there was only Longstreet, and a thumping heart." (p.77) Lee is referring to his entire person by mentioning only his ailing heart.

Extended Metaphors:

"He was riding along in a cloud of visitors...and the motley bright cloud remained respectfully distant." (p.80)

"The rode several miles before they heard the first thunder... the sound of the guns [artillery]." (p.85)

Cliffhanger Ending & Dramatic Irony:

" ‘That was artillery...’ Lee said...He left Longstreet and rode toward the sound of the guns." Lee is surprised and doesn’t know what’s going on but the reader knows that the artillery is Buford’s. What will Lee do when he finds out? Who is winning the Hill/Buford skirmish? Is this the beginning of the entire battle? The chapter’s ending raises many a question and thereby encourages the reader to continue on to the next chapter post- haste.

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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara


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