Free Study Guide for Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt-Book Summary|
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES
The chapter opens telling how Joseph Hooker “folded hopelessly” before Robert E. Lee at Chancellorsville. The war has escalated and dragged on to the point that the author can no longer give historic accounts of every battle for they have become too numerous. Until this point it seemed that the South had the advantage, however Gettysburg and Vicksburg turn the tide. Amid cynical public opinion, Grant emerges the symbol of a victorious Union.
Hunt elaborates on the theme of how perceptions of the war can vary by having each of the three soldiers present a different feeling in his letter, and then yet another opinion, that of the newspaper is given. Shad’s letter shows no hope for future battles or survival. John’s letters focus on being ready for action and the bonds of family. Eb’s letter describes his actual activities and experiences with the other soldiers. Finally, the newspaper sways public favor to Grant once more.
The symbolic recording of Jenny’s marriage in the Bible ledger illustrates that the young have grown beyond their years during the war, yet there is still hope for happiness. Hunt closes the chapter with a letter written by Jethro that represents the full scope of his growth: his physical manhood working the fields alone, his intellectual development and grasp of language, and his emotional understanding of Jenny’s relationship with Shad.
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Cassie, Donna L.. "TheBestNotes on Across Five Aprils".
. 09 May 2017