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Written by Nicola Francisc
The novel focuses on the war that was between the South and the North as well as it focuses on how the war affected individual persons. Jethro is forced to grow up much faster than normal and because of some unusual circumstances, Jethro becomes the responsible man in the house. After his older brothers leave for war and after his father suffers a heart attack, Jethro has no other choice but to take care of his family. The way in which Jethro sees the world also changes. If in the beginning Jethro sees the world in a very childlike manner, his ideas change in time when he realizes that his point of view is far from the truth.
Another theme is the instability of the public opinion. The general population’s opinion changes from one moment to another, based on what news they receive from the battlefield. They could one day love and worship one general and then hate him the next day just because it is rumored that he lost a battle or took a decision that many may not agree with. The feeling of unrest is created primarily by the ever shifting public opinion that can’t choose which side they want to take.
The war highlighted the power and necessity of forgiveness. Lincoln forgave those who deserted and genuinely believed that they can turn their life around and serve their country. The Creighton family also forgave the man who accidentally killed one of their daughters and their forgiveness also prompted other people to forgive him. The ability to forgive and move on is what helps the Creighton family get through the five years of war.
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