Across Five Aprils

December 8, 2009
By Reader23 BRONZE, Aurora, Illinois
Reader23 BRONZE, Aurora, Illinois
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Character Analysis

The 1965 Newberry Medal Honor book, Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunter, is a story about the life of a boy named Jethro Creighton, Jeth for short. From when the book starts to when it ends the book has many changes in the characters especially Jethro. He is a nine-year-old boy who finishes the book at twelve years old. He leaves his childish personality to a strong boy who can take care of himself and his family.

Jethro was shown in detail about him being the longest living child of his mother and being thought of as the baby of the family. He thought eating with the family because he was a field worker now was a coveted honor. He didn't know that soon seeing some of his family would be a coveted honor. Jethro was learning at the school that the county had with his favorite teacher Shadrach Yale, Shad for short. Shad was actually in love with his sister Jenny and she in love with him. This, the family took as except Matt Creighton, his father who happened to be a well-respected man in the area. Jeth was eager to learning and always wanted to prove himself. He was a lovable character who is always excited. He is living during the pre-Civil War period and during the beginning of the Civil War. Jethro begins to change as the Civil War progresses.

Jethro is changing emotionally when his brother and Shad begin to leave for the war. Also, he is extremely saddened by his brother, Bill, leaving to go fight. He needs to learn independence really quickly and is left with his sister to help take care of the family and the farm. He learns a lot from his various experienced through out the novel. He stands up for Bill at a saloon when a man verbally attacks the Creighton family. He also makes friends from the experiences like the editor of the newspaper and Dave Burdow who protects him from a physical attack by Guy Wortman. He seems to think a lot more when dealing with situations.

Jethro also physically changes when he is spending many hours toiling in the hot sun. He has a deeper adult look on his face. His face also seems to have been drained of all the previous innocence that he previously had. He learned some new skills as well. Some of these would be handling his team of horses and learning how to properly use a gun. The latter skill he used to hunt some wild game and do some of the jobs that Bill used to do. He became stronger as the war continued. He is leaner as well and seems to take after his brother Bill.
That seems to worry his Mother and Jenny because Bill left the family and went to fight for the South when the rest of the boys fought for the North. Jethro however wasn't going to turn to the Southern side. This can be assured because he held President Abraham Lincoln with high respect and admiration, lived in Illinois, and to top it all off he also received a letter from the President telling him that it was okay for his deserted brother, Eb, to rejoin the army. There is also changes in Jethro family relationships.
Before the war he seemed to like only a few people. He changed with his relationship to Nancy because he used to think she was mean but actually she was just timid and shy around John's family, now he is very nice to Nancy and plays with her kids. Also, he seemed to not care much for Eb or Tom, but he was deeply saddened by Tom's death and helped Eb when he deserted and eventually helped him regain his post.
As you can tell this book includes lots of war and bloodshed but it also includes loyalty and compassion. Jethro seems to develop in loyalty and compassion for his family as the war continues. This book is a great story about a boy names Jethro.

The author's comments:
This a very emotional book that gives you lots of information regarding the life of a boy during the Civil War.

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This article has 2 comments.

d_-man25401 said...
on Oct. 14 2011 at 9:42 am
i like this report very much u did a great job tell the story ...... good job.

srilaya63 said...
on Jan. 3 2010 at 11:22 am
very nice in-depth analysis of the character and how he changes throughout the book!


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