Presentation on theme: "“Letter To His Son” Claire Kates & Courtney Smith."— Presentation transcript:
“Letter To His Son” Claire Kates & Courtney Smith
Biography Born January 19, 1807 Gained military experience in the Mexican War Superintendent at West Point Offered the command of the Federal Army, but resigns his military commission instead.
Commanded troops of Virginia, then given the command of the entire Confederate Army “Supreme General” Opposed to secession, but would not invade his native state.
Post Civil War Wanted to create a better life within the Union He was “...rejoiced that Slavery was abolished.” Became the President of Washington College (now Washington and Lee) Died October 12, 1870
Historical Significance “Letter To His Son” gave the viewpoint of a famous general before the Civil War started The Union was breaking apart at the time this letter was written Shows that succession saddened Lee
Many people may believe that the famous confederate general, Robert E. Lee would have been all for succession. However, “Letter To His Son” clarifies that Lee was, in fact, in favor of preserving the Union 3 months after this letter was written, Ft. Sumter was attacked.
Summary Lee is saddened by the current state of the US Says the Union is between a state of anarchy and civil war (chaotic) Wants it to be peaceful Says the 1 st 4 states have already succeeded, and 4 more (including his own) are expected to follow Believes North has been unfair to South
Does not want revenge Shows Internal Conflict -Takes pride in his country but feels loyal to his state Believes Constitution should be valued and the Union kept intact If South succeeds, no real government would be established War does not entice Lee He will mourn for his country, but must return to his native state Will not fight unless for defense
Key Literary Elements This work is a literary letter. Lee wrote it to his son, but it was intended for a wider audience. The internal conflict shown in this letter is that Lee does not want war or secession but refuses to take up arms against his state (Virginia). The tone of “Letter to His Son” is one of resignation and sadness.
Reflection and Shaping of the Times Most Authors at the time took a side: for the North, or for the South Lee though, a southerner, tried to bridge that gap and was not ignorant of the Union’s side Shaped times: May have allowed more people to see both sides
God, as well as honor were both important during this time period and are reflected in this work “May God avert both of these evils from us.” “I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation.”
Why is this important to American Literature?? Provides it’s readers with a new insight on it’s author. Lee demonstrates his love and loyalty to both his country and his state. Many authors at this time were either Northerners, or Southerners. Lee (unknowingly) attempted to bridge the gap.