The Killer Angels

by Michael Shaara

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What are three samples of figurative language that Michael Shaara used in The Killer Angels?

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There are endless examples of figurative language in Michael Shaara's Civil War novel, The Killer Angels. Figurative language can include a variety of literary devices, including the simile, metaphor, cliche, personificationhyperbole, etc.


  • ... the dust hung above the army like a yellow veil. (Harrison, Part 1, Chapter 1).  This simile compares the thick dust to a colored veil.
  • ... he awoke to a murderous sun (Chamberlain, Part 1 Chapter 2). The sun cannot literally murder in this personification, since murder is a human trait.
  • He felt an eerie fragility, like a piece of thin glass in a high hot wind (Chamberlain, Part 1, Chapter 2).  This simile compares his fragile state of mind to a piece of glass about to be broken in a strong wind.
  • The great roar was composed of a thousand different rips and whispers... like a great orchestra of death (Part 4, Chapter 3).  The first part is a hyperbole, an exaggeration of the roar of battle; the second part is a simile, comparing the noise to an orchestra.
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