The Killer Angels

The Killer Angels

by

Michael Shaara

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The Escaped Slave Character Analysis

An injured black man, an escaped slave, is discovered by Kilrain around the midpoint of the story. He has only been in America for a few weeks and speaks little English. In Gettysburg, he is inexplicably shot by a woman he approaches seeking directions. A Union surgeon treats his bullet wound, and Chamberlain, ashamed of his initial discomfort with the man, sends him off with food and well-wishes. It is unclear, however, where he will end up; now free, he wants to find a way to his home country.

The Escaped Slave Quotes in The Killer Angels

The The Killer Angels quotes below are all either spoken by The Escaped Slave or refer to The Escaped Slave. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Honor Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ballantine edition of The Killer Angels published in 1974.
Thursday, July 2, 1863: Chapter 2 Quotes

He felt a slow deep flow of sympathy. To be alien and alone, among white lords and glittering machines, uprooted by brute force and threat of death from the familiar earth of what he did not even know was Africa, to be shipped in black stinking darkness across an ocean he had not dreamed existed, forced then to work on alien soil, strange beyond belief, by men with guns whose words he could not even comprehend. What could the black man know of what was happening? Chamberlain tried to imagine it. He had seen ignorance, but this was more than that. What could this man know of borders and states’ rights and the Constitution and Dred Scott? What did he know of the war? And yet he was truly what it was all about. It simplified to that. Seen in the flesh, the cause of the war was brutally clear.

Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Escaped Slave Character Timeline in The Killer Angels

The timeline below shows where the character The Escaped Slave appears in The Killer Angels. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Thursday, July 2, 1863: Chapter 2: Chamberlain
Honor Theme Icon
Old World vs. New World Theme Icon
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
...a duel.” Just then, Kilrain appears with the news that he has found an injured black man . (full context)
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
The black man is very large, dark-skinned, well-muscled, and raggedly dressed. He has a bullet wound just under... (full context)
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
As the black man eats and waits for a doctor, Chamberlain is shocked by his own hesitation to touch... (full context)
Honor Theme Icon
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
...specify what “rights” they were defending. Meanwhile, a surgeon has arrived and is examining the black man , who appears more frightened than ever. (full context)
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Chamberlain feels “a slow deep flow of sympathy” for the black man and wonders how much the man understands of what is happening around him. How much... (full context)
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
...the doctor finishes his treatment, he reveals what he was able to learn from the black man . Apparently, the ex-slave had gotten lost and wandered into Gettysburg seeking directions, only to... (full context)