Why read it? The thoughts of the enlisted man before and during the fighting. The antagonism of the enlisted man for the officer. The thoughts of the General who had complete power over the men under his control. The General, who finally suspected that he had had nothing to do with the victory.
“He was functioning more like an animal now than a man.” p. 456.
“If he had to endure one more artillery shelling he might have collapsed; his terror always expanded in a situation where he could do nothing to affect it.” p. 456.
“A half-hour later, Lieutenant Hearn was killed by a machine-gun bullet which passed through his chest.” p. 469.
“For the first time he bridged the distance between his few contacts with Hearn and the last glimpse he had had of him, the bloody meaningless corpse.” p. 471.
“Listen, Polack, you think there’s a God? If there is, he sure is a sonofabitch.” p. 472.
“Each of them was fighting his private battle.” p. 486.
“…ever since the second ambush he had been feeling the apprehension of a man in a dream who knows he is guilty, is waiting for his punishment, and cannot remember his crime.” p. 497.
“Toward the end they had only a dumb wonder that they could abuse their bodies so mightily and have them still function.” p. 501.
“But it never occurred to him to quit [to die from his wound]…so many things he wanted to do.” p. 502.
“…they did not think of themselves as individual men any longer…were merely envelopes of suffering.” p. 512.
To be concluded.
Note: Blog will resume on Monday, November 30, 2009. RayS.