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Full title Across Five Aprils
Author Irene Hunt
Type of work Novel
Genre Young adult, fiction, historical fiction
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
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.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Across Five Aprils!