Across Five Aprils

Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

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.