Study Guide

The Killer Angels Identity

By Michael Shaara

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The Northerners don't really get as romantic about the North as the Southerners get about the South: Chamberlain remembers Maine fondly, but he sees himself more as a citizen of the world than as a Mainer through and through. The Confederates, on the other hand, love them some Dixie—its traditions, its way of life, its physical beauty. Their nostalgic reminiscences about their land play an important role in The Killer Angels, since those reminiscences represent what they're going to lose in the battle. In fact, when the war is over, all those memories will feed into the myth of the Old South and the "Lost Cause"—Gone with the Wind, anyone?

Questions About Identity

  1. Does the romanticized myth of the Old South still exist today? Or have things like Twelve Years a Slave discredited it?
  2. Are there things about the Old South that still do seem to have value?
  3. How do you think a freed slave might feel about the Confederates' love for the pre-war South?

Chew on This

Romanticizing the pre-Civil War South is wrong because it was a society that was based on slavery.

There was more to the Old South than slavery, and it's okay to acknowledge and appreciate those other things.

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