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Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

[ Edited ]

Who is the hero of Manhunt? Is there more than one?


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Note: This topic refers to the book as a whole.

Message Edited by BookClubEditor on 03-02-2007 12:34 PM

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maxcat
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

I held off on answering this question as there were many characters. By definition, a hero is the main male character in a novel. I don't see Booth as a hero because he killed a man and it doesn't matter whether he was Confederate or Union. You kill someone for no reason, you go to jail. My heroes would be the two Garrett men who locked Herold and Booth in the tobacco barn. They went against their father's permission and suspected the two men were up to no good. They knew the Union calvary was on their way and they prevented Booth and Herold from getting away.
What is so bizarre is that Booth was shot in the neck almost at the same place as Lincoln's wound. Fate?
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Donti
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?



maxcat wrote:
I held off on answering this question as there were many characters. By definition, a hero is the main male character in a novel. I don't see Booth as a hero because he killed a man and it doesn't matter whether he was Confederate or Union. You kill someone for no reason, you go to jail. My heroes would be the two Garrett men who locked Herold and Booth in the tobacco barn. They went against their father's permission and suspected the two men were up to no good. They knew the Union calvary was on their way and they prevented Booth and Herold from getting away.
What is so bizarre is that Booth was shot in the neck almost at the same place as Lincoln's wound. Fate?




I agree. The Garrett brothers would be the heroes of this book, in my opinion. I found myself cheering them on when I was reading that part of the book about them locking Booth and Herold in the barn!
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maxcat
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

Thank you, Donti! When I finished the book, I asked my husband who he thought the hero was as he was the first to read it. He couldn't answer and gave me the pat answer of the main male character as being the hero. I disagreedas though Booth was the main character in the book, I felt he didn't deserve hero status for his actions. What is the author's thoughts on this? Who did he think was the hero?
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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wburns_kh
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

I find it tough not to think of someone as the hero when an individual like Booth is on the run from the vastly superior forces of the government. Viewing Booth as "the hero" even if not "a hero"--in fact quite the opposite--is to some degree inherent in the way the story is told.
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Donti
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

Booth seems much more the "villain" of the book, rather than the hero....to me, anyway. I can't say President Lincoln was the hero. I think of him as the "victim". Rathbone lunged for Booth to try to stop him in the presidential box in the theater, but it wasn't very heroic of him to insist that the doctor treat his wound before treating the President's wound. Nor was it heroic at all for him to kill his wife, Clara, 18 years later. I suppose a case can be made to label Boston Corbett as the hero of the book, since he shot Booth. But Corbett was such a strange character (castrated himself) that I have a difficult time thinking of him as a hero.
John Garrett seems to me to be the hero because he became suspicious of Booth's panicky reaction to the riders who passed the Garrett farm. John Garrett had the idea to lock up Booth and Herold in the barn, and William Garrett did the actual locking, slowly so that the lock wouldn't make any noise and alert Booth and Herold. I really have to say that they are the "heroes".
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

Does anyone think of David Herold as an unsung hero? He appears to be very young. He didn't kill anyone. He was probably very naive and idealistic. He thought he would be able to go home when it was all over. I think Booth had really convinced him that what he was doing was right for the country. In war time people are killed. David could have just walked out. Instead he stayed with Booth until the threat of burning the Garrett barn.
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maxcat
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

I had thought of Boston Corbett too but all he did was shoot Booth. He didn't go through what the Garrett boys went through and they deserve some recognition for their actions.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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maxcat
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

I don't think of Herold as a hero because he was helping Booth all along. Though he never killed anyone, he was an accomplice throughout the whole book.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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vivico1
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?


maxcat wrote:
Thank you, Donti! When I finished the book, I asked my husband who he thought the hero was as he was the first to read it. He couldn't answer and gave me the pat answer of the main male character as being the hero. I disagreedas though Booth was the main character in the book, I felt he didn't deserve hero status for his actions. What is the author's thoughts on this? Who did he think was the hero?


Thinking of the main character of a book as the hero, only works in novels in general. But definately not here. To even consider Booth as a hero is quite inconcieveable. And as someone else said.."I see Lincoln as the victim". Ya think? Not being rude here honest, but wow. One thing we will never know now..how much of a "victim" was the whole United States because of Lincoln's death. The hero as I see it so far is definately Stanton, he is keeping everything together and really handling the business of what this has done. If this was some fictional book, one could look at Booth and his conspirators and wonder if they were heroes in anyway, but its not fiction and we do know the truth of it and the outcome.
Vivian
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?


Librarian wrote:
Does anyone think of David Herold as an unsung hero? He appears to be very young. He didn't kill anyone. He was probably very naive and idealistic. He thought he would be able to go home when it was all over. I think Booth had really convinced him that what he was doing was right for the country. In war time people are killed. David could have just walked out. Instead he stayed with Booth until the threat of burning the Garrett barn.
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Being naive does not make one a hero, it just makes one naive. And being naive does not make one unaccountable. He is guilty of grave wrongdoing and there is no heroism in that, or following blindly someone else who is doing the same. Germany, unfortunately followed someone they saw as a hero blindly and look where it lead. It does not make all Germans OR even the German soldiers the evil men Hitler was by any means. It is unfortunate that there were no heroes in Germany for the people to rally around and stop Hitler. But there were many unsung German heroes, who did things we seldom hear of to aid those in harms way as best they could and not be part of the wrong that was happening. Many Americans owe there lives to those Germans. But they were the ones who were not naive, who paid attention to what was happening and growing and did what they could. Everyone along the way that aided Booth, aided an assassination and not just of one man, but who knows what else. Harold knew what he was doing, if he had hopes it would all end there, there is a naivete about that but there is no heroism there. I would say, he might be a loyal friend, but thats very different than heroism.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

I can see the idea of Herold as a loyal friend as opposed to hero after considering all the comments. For some reason, I don't care for Stanton. The Garrett brothers were treated rather shabbily by the cavalry making them get into Booth's line of fire to open the door. Imprisoning them even if only briefly also seemed unfair. Were the Garrett brothers heroic or looking out for their own interest because they feared their horses would be stolen during the night?
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?


Librarian wrote:
I can see the idea of Herold as a loyal friend as opposed to hero after considering all the comments. For some reason, I don't care for Stanton. The Garrett brothers were treated rather shabbily by the cavalry making them get into Booth's line of fire to open the door. Imprisoning them even if only briefly also seemed unfair. Were the Garrett brothers heroic or looking out for their own interest because they feared their horses would be stolen during the night?
Librarian


I am not at the Garrett brothers episode yet but just reading chapter 6 and ALL that Stanton had to take care of, because with Johnson as the President, Stanton really did have to take care of everything and look what was happening in the nation too, the killings and panic everywhere. I read that chapter and thought, if he would not have been there to take the reins, who could have been strong and smart enough to do it. That one, I think I will also ask of the author, is there anyone he knows of who could have stepped up to the plate, if Stanton hadn't.
p.s. hey back on the conspiracy question, you mentioned Kennedy and as i wrote about VP Johnson becoming president right here,I thought, now wait, Johnson is who was VP and became president when Kennedy was assassinated, do i have my conspiracies mixed up?? LOL! Then I thought, wow what an interesting coincidence on the only two presidents ever assassinated, that their VPs were named Johnson and both were not exactly presidential material :smileywink:.
Vivian
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?



Librarian wrote:
I can see the idea of Herold as a loyal friend as opposed to hero after considering all the comments. For some reason, I don't care for Stanton. The Garrett brothers were treated rather shabbily by the cavalry making them get into Booth's line of fire to open the door. Imprisoning them even if only briefly also seemed unfair. Were the Garrett brothers heroic or looking out for their own interest because they feared their horses would be stolen during the night?
Librarian




I think it was more than just the concern that their horses would be stolen because John Garrett became suspicious of Booth's panicky reaction when the Union soldiers rode past the Garrett farm. Booth immediately commanded John Garrett to run upstairs and bring down Booth's pistols. That set off alarm bells in John Garrett's mind, and rightly so.
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?


Librarian wrote:
I can see the idea of Herold as a loyal friend as opposed to hero after considering all the comments. For some reason, I don't care for Stanton. The Garrett brothers were treated rather shabbily by the cavalry making them get into Booth's line of fire to open the door. Imprisoning them even if only briefly also seemed unfair. Were the Garrett brothers heroic or looking out for their own interest because they feared their horses would be stolen during the night?
Librarian


Speaking of the Garretts , now that I am on the last chapter, I thought of your posts here and have a question for anyone. Reading the whole story that took place at the Garrett farm, I am under the impression that they truly did not know who they had staying there and that the old man took them in thinking they were wounded confederates on the run and thinking about his own confederate sons. But then I thought i read something when the Union soldiers got there, that no the boys didnt know but the old man Garrett did know Booth from before. Is that right??? I was so caught up in the story and kept reading, thinking to go back and check this out that now I cant find any such statement. Was there anything that said the old man knew?? Or knew something and I am getting it mixed up with knowing who they were? The brothers did not know and yeah became worried by their actions when others came around so thought they better be careful with them. Had they not been afraid after, of what their confederate friends and neighbors would say, they could have ran to the oncoming soldiers and said.."HERE! we have captured who you are looking for and locked them in the barn!" Not only saving themselves from some of what they went through but maybe getting a huge chunk of change from the reward money. Anyway, of all the people who helped out Booth and Harold, these brothers I see no guilt in for helping, even if they thought they were confederate soldiers on the run. I dont think it makes them heroes, but this is what I was talking about at another place on here, people helping out those who were soldiers in the war in their time of need, I dont see as conspirators. I see them as just trying to do a kindness for those young men that they would hope someone on the other side might do for their sons. But, I still am baffled, did the older Garrett know Booth from before or not?

As for the way the Garrett brothers were treated, I dare say they were worried themselves and if we lived in the middle of a war zone, I think we would be leary of either side too at times. It was pretty chicken of commanders of 26 soldiers to send them in to try to bring Booth out lol geeesh! As for their arrests, dang, I think half the country was arrested at one point or the other, seems if you were talked to...you were arrested, whether detained or not. Luckily they were all released in good time. And I do think they had a right to file claim for their burned down property.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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maxcat
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Re: Manhunt: Who's the Hero?

i agree there, Donti. If someone acts suspicious to you, wouldn't that send up red flags all over the place?
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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