Becca's Story

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Becca's Story by James D. Forman The Plot: Throughout the story there were several incidents of suspense that revealed the characters. One incident of suspense was when the Confederate army was fighting the Union army at the battle of Gettysburg. Their were brigades along the woods to hold the opposing army off. Alex and Charlie could do nothing but watch because it was such a spectacle. The others were advancing towards the boys and they were silently praying to themselves that they would stop before they reached them. They didn't stop though and the boys had to charge. They were reloading, shooting, tearing cartridges with their teeth, and sheltering. The whole time they were being fired at and dodging the fire. By this time Colonel Steele was yelling for his men to follow him. Alex and Charlie lost each other at this point even though they promised Becca they would stick together.

Alex ran around frantically looking for Charlie and screaming to him. He then got hit in the same wound that was hit in a previous battle. He passed out thinking of Charlie and their promise to Becca. He laid on the ground waiting for someone to realize he was still alive. But Charlie was not found and reported missing in action.

The Characterization: Becca's Story was centered around three main characters. From 1859, when the story began, to 1866, when the story ended, Becca wrote mainly about these people.

Rebecca Frazer Case- when the book began she was fourteen years old. She had two boyfriends, Charlie and Alex, at that age they were all she really had to worry about. Although things changed when the Civil war started. Before the war all she worried about was which boy would take her to the dance. She was a proper young lady and dreamed of going back east to Brooklyn, her native land.

Charlie Gregory - He was one of Becca's boyfriends. At the start of the story he was seventeen years old. At the start of the story he was lit by youth, curiosity, and the possibility of devilry. Couldn't picture himself growing old, he was adventurous. He made Becca feel nervous and excited because of his devilry. Becca secretly liked him best although he wasn't the settling down in one spot type. He felt going west was in his blood. He felt he wasn't meant for clerking in the post office or being a farmer like everyone else in Jonesville, Michigan. He thought wandering was his life and he was in love with untraveled roads.

Alexander Aberdeen Forman- He was a very serious young man. At the start of the book he was seventeen years old. Becca said he was more man than boy. He planned on going to college and working. He was bright and confronted life head on. Becca told him that he needed to learn to laugh more.

The characters in the story cope successfully with the problems they are faced with. When Becca's boys went off to join the Union army she dealt with that and when Alex got shot she helped nurse him back to health twice. Then when Charlie was concluded as dead she dealt with that and moved on to Alex who she loved very much. She never fully forgot about Charlie though she saw him everywhere she went. Alex dealt with his problems also, he got shot twice and almost lost his leg but still he returned to the Union. He also dealt with the death of his best friend who he was supposed to stick with during the battles. Charlie also dealt with problems he wanted to go west The Style: The style the author used throughout the book was easy but involved. It was easy to read because it was interesting to me. The author made it easy to read by writing about her life and her situation with her boyfriends and the war. Other times in the book it was a little weighty and involved. This was when he was describing the historical aspect. When he started writing about the Civil War he got very into it with specific names and battle sites. The dialogue he used was realistic and very easy to understand. It was written simple and right to the point there were no difficult words. An example is when Alex said, "I hate to run off, Bec. I hope your ma won't have conniptions if you are out a mite late." To me that is easy to understand and the author wrote all the dialogue easy like that.

The Theme: The problem in the story that the author raised or our consideration is whether the war is a good and brave thing or a terrible and cowardly thing. The authors sort of sends mixed messages about the theme of this story. He makes Becca and Alex in favor of the war in the beginning. Becca and Alex felt it was an honorable thing to join the Union but Charlie was scared and didn't like it. But by the end Becca hated the war and the two boys couldn't stay out of it even after they had been wounded and discharged. They just kept going back for more as if it were the right thing to do. I agree with Becca that war is terrible and dangerous and it ruins lives. I would not have agreed with her at the beginning when she thought Charlie was cowardly for not really joining the Union like the other boys in Michigan. The reason I agree with her final thought is because I have learned history and I have seen through books that war is not the resolution to all problems and that it hurts more than it helps.

The Historical Aspect: The book takes place during the Civil War (1861-1865). The setting was Jonesville, Michigan. This town made up the seventh infantry along with a lot of other towns too. The book says the Civil War started on April 12, 1861 when the bombardment and capture by the Confederacy of Fort Sumnter. At this time Lincoln was already elected. According to the book he was elected in 1860 and historically that is correct he was elected in May of that year and took his oath in February of 1861. The book talks about how he tried to pass the Emancipation Proclamation and how the Confederacy still opposed it and continued to fight the Union. The south did not want to free the slaves at all. The book does not clearly explain the conclusion of the Civil War but I know that the Union did win and that the Emancipation Proclamation was passed even though the south still opposed. The book does say that Lincoln was assassinated by and actor (John Wilkes Booth) in a theatre on April 15, 1965. Some battles that were discussed in the story was the battle at Balls Bluff on October 21, the battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, and the battle of Fair Oakes which was in June of 1862.

The historical aspect was what the theme of the book was based on the whole book was based on what was happening in history at that time. Once the Civil War started the lives of all the characters took a turn. The book was centered around the characters lives and their lives were centered around the Civil War. Rebecca's life changed after the War started because she became a soldier's girl. The boys lives changed too. Alex got wounded and almost died twice and Charlie had to give up his dream of going west to do the right thing and join the Union.

My opinion: I thought that the book was very good once I got into it I could not put it down. The author kept me wanting to read more. He would end chapters and leave you hanging and then start the next chapter back in Jonesville with Becca or at a battle site with the boys. Then I would want to get to the next chapter to see what happened with the other character. He wrote the book very well and he also was accurate as far as history goes. I appreciate that because I really enjoy American history. I would definitely recommend this book to others because it was very well written and the story about Becca and her beau's was good. I would especially recommend it to people who enjoy love stories because Becca had to choose between her two soldiers. All in all it was a very good book.