full title · Across Five Aprils
author · Irene Hunt
type of work · Novel
genre · Young adult, fiction, historical fiction
language · English
time and place written · 1963; while teaching at a grammar school in Cicero, Illinois
date of first publication · 1964
publisher · Follet Publishing Company
narrator · Anonymous, centering around the experiences of Jethro Creighton
point of view · Third-person limited, reflecting the experiences of Jethro Creighton
tone · Grave; melancholy; determined
tense · Past
setting (time) · The novel takes place during the American Civil War.
setting (place) · Southern Illinois, on a farm
protagonist · Jethro Creighton
major conflict · The American Civil War and the way it affects the country and a specific family
rising action · Two brothers, one cousin, and one family friend join the war. The Creightons all suffer anxiety over whether they are alive or not.
climax · The climax of the war is the climax of the book as well, around the point of the Battle of Gettysburg when the North picks up momentum and enjoys a victory.
falling action · The war ends. Southern deserters are permitted to reenter the Union with amnesty
themes · The capriciousness of public opinion; the power of the presidency; the importance of redemption and forgiveness
motifs · Cycles; both sides of the story; growing old before one's time; "not a perfect pearl"
symbols · The barn; the Bible ledger; drinking coffee
foreshadowing · Milton's comment about peace not being a "perfect pearl," Hunt's description of the deserters, the men in the store being angry about Bill's involvement with the South.
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