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Across Five Aprils
Transcript of Across Five Aprils
In southern Illinois, where news come late and towns are small, the Creightons lead a comfortable lifestyle. But then the Civil War begins and their routine is broken: brothers leave to join different armies and are forced to fight against each other. "Across Five Aprils" is a tale of growth in difficult times and how the bonds of family never break.
Purposeful misspellings in order to write in an accent
Plentiful metaphors, similes, and exaggerations as said by the characters
Written from a character's point of view in which the action does not directly affect them
Subtle hints at big, meaningful ideas that keep the reader interested
The purposeful misspellings throughout the book bring the setting and time period to life. Due to the setting being in the 1800s there is an accent written in the book to resemble what people would've spoken like on a small farm in Illinois.
Similes, Metaphors and Exaggeration
These literary tools are used in cohesion with the misspellings to make the accent more genuine. They add flavor to the writing and add information on the local culture.
Point of View
For the majority of the book, the point of view is from which the action is only being told of and described instead of being directly experienced. It is mainly described through the Newton newspaper and the talk of the townspeople. At first this makes the book seem slow and dragging but it was to make the action have more of an impact when it finally happened. There was one quote in the book that perfectly described this by saying that the harm was coming to people far away and Jethro couldn’t imagine that it would ever come directly to him. When it does he is perplexed and in shock.
Creighton Family Tree
Matthew "Matt" Creighton
The Civil War begins
Tom, Eb, John, Shadrach Yale, William Taylor.
Jethro goes to Newton alone. Men at the store (Guy Wortman) threaten Jeth because of his brother Bill joing the Confederates. Jethro meets Ross Milton and receives an proper English book
Jethro works in the fields with Jenny in place of his ill father. He hears strange man-turkey calls and finds his cousin Ebenezer, a deserter of the army. He brings Eb food and water but feels guilty, so he writes a letter to the President requestg that he be allowed to return to the army. He receives a reply and is greatly pleased.
There is news from Washington, delivered by Ross Milton, from Shadrach Yale's aunt. A nurse at the hospital, she found Shad on a cot; he is on his deathbed, and in his fevers calls out for Jenny. Jenny resolves to travel to Washington; later she writes home asking for her father's consent to marry Shad. She receives Matt's consent and is consequently married to Shad.
John writes a letter and informs the Creightons that Bill was captured by the Union. Jeth is now thirteen and very grown up: he is taller, golden curls are now light brown, eyes are gray and green instead of blue, etc. Then the war ends, and although there is celebration, there is grief: President Lincoln is assasinated. Shad and Jenny return. John and Eb are rumored to return. And finally, the book concludes with Jeth hoping to go to college.
Timeline of Events
Jethro Hallam Creighton
Matthew Colvin Creighton
James Alexander Creighton
Nathan Hale Creighton
Jenny Elizabeth Creighton
Mary Ellen Creighton
Thomas Ward Creighton
by Irene Hunt
William Taylor Creighton
Lydia and Lucinda, twins
Benjamin Hardin Creighton
John Robert Creighton
died July 1st - 4th, 1852
Jethro meets Dave Burdow. Burdow sits in the wagon with Jeth. Men attack the horses. Burdow rights the wagon and leaves. Jeth's father has a heart attack.
Guy Wortman worsens. He is constantly doing nasty things. Then, one night, Wortman burns down the barn and poisons their well with coal oil. For a month Jeth's family watch for another attack. Later, Ross Milton publishes a scathing letter in the newspaper and the attacks stop.
What is the setting? How does it change throughout the book? Why did the author choose this setting?
Subtle Hints at Big Ideas
It is these ideas that draw the reader in and keeps them interested. Without them, the characters talk is a constant flow of mindless dialogue.
Worded differently, these questions could be asked by a scholar. However, with the accent and context included, these questions only seem casual and do not make the characters seem any smarter. This aspect of 'dumbness' is important for plot development. It encourages the reader to sympathize with the Creightons due to the tragic events happening to a seemingly normal family.
"I don't know if anybody ever "wins" a war, Jeth. I think that the beginnin's of this war has been fanned by hate till it's a blaze now; and a blaze kin destroy him that makes it and him that the fire was set to hurt." -Bill
Nobody truly wins a war. There are always tremendous losses on either side.
Questioning whether human nature has ever changed. Wilse says that human nature has always been of greed since the Romans. Matt says that it has gotten better.
Which historical events appear in the story
Why were these events chosen?
How do they shape the story?
What did you learn about this time Period?
Relevance and Impact on Story
The start of the war leads Eb, Tom, Bill, and eventually Shad and John to join the war.
People lose hope of a short war
People start to support Grant, one of many generals
The Creighton family recieves threats before their barn is burned down
Tom is killed
Eb makes it back home but doesn't know what to do
Jethro recieves a letter from Lincoln and Eb returns to the army
War ends, bringing a celebration and happiness to many.
The assassination of Abraham Lincoln brings sadness to the peace
What were the book's strengths and weaknesses? If you had been writing it, what changes would you have made?
The war starts after the battle of Fort Sumter
First battle of Bull Run
Battle of Fort Henry-first major Union victory
Mob cruelty towards rebel supporters
Battle of Shiloh
Deserters go to Point Prospect campgrounds
Abraham Lincoln allows deserters to return to the army without punishment
Battle of Appomattox Court House
Abraham Lincoln is assassinated
How does the protagonist and antagonists interact? How do they change over time? What roles do the characters play and how does their role affect their relationship?
Protagonist: Jethro/Main Character
Antagonist: The Civil War
they are saying
*Setting doesn't change much throughout book
If I had wrote this book, a few changes I would have made might include:
More dramatic plot
A change of perspective
Clearer dialect between characters
What I Learned about the Time Period
Example: “Once we git these planted and a soft rain comes, we’ll hev a crop to make people up north call us ‘Egypt’ fer sure.”
Fur or Fer= For
Yore or Yer= Your You're
Example: "I heered some of the big fellers talkin' the other night, and they said the war, even if it comes, will be no more than a brekfas' spell. They said that the soldiers up here kin take the South by the britches and make it holler 'Nough' quicker than it takes coffee to cool off fer swallerin'."
Hunt's literary style is unique with its many quirks. It is one of the main highlights of the book and is what makes it so good. Right off the bat she starts off with a vivid description of Jethro's farm and ends leaving the reader with complex themes on his or her's mind.
Eagerness to join war
Support of unworthy generals
Fear of losing a child
End of the war
Assassination of Lincoln