Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold Summary

Jean Fritz


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Fritz's account of the life of the Revolutionary War general Benedict Arnold presents a difficult subject objectively yet with great sympathy. Long the subject of disdain and criticism from patriotic Americans who know him as the man who made a failed attempt to turn West Point over to the British, Arnold is shown to be a man driven by a need to succeed and to be recognized for his accomplishments. Fritz reviews the facts of Arnold's life with care, showing how the events of his childhood and turbulent teenage years had lasting influence on the man whom George Washington once considered the finest soldier in the Continental Army. Her account also provides some insight into the lives of the men and women forced to choose between submitting to an increasingly oppressive regime of colonial government administered from across the ocean, or taking the drastic step of declaring independence from their legitimate, if ill-willed, ruler, King George III.

(The entire section is 157 words.)