Friday, November 20, 2009

The Naked and the Dead (8)

Norman Mailer. New York: The New American Library: A Signet Book. 1948.

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.


Red: “If they get ya to hate ‘em enough, you’ll crack a nut before you’ll go to ‘em and that way they keep you on the line. A guy dies now and then, but what the hell’s another guy to the Army. You’d think we weren’t men.” p. 292.

The General: “The men who would land at Botoi would be in the enemy rear without any safe way to retreat, and their only security would be to drive ahead and meet their own troops…would have to advance.” p. 300.

“It was basically a superstition: Dalleson believed that if he could make his own small unit function perfectly the rest of his division would follow his example.” p. 305.

“In the final analysis there was only necessity and one’s reactions to it.” p. 316.

“Life’s a hard thing, and nobody gives you nothing; you do it alone, every man’s hand is against you, that’s what you also find out.” p. 319.

“…there is, and it’s very important, the level where he must do and say things for their effect upon the men with whom he lives and works.” p. 323.

“From Webster’s [Dictionary]: hatred, n. ‘strong aversion or detestation; settled ill will or malevolence’…a thread in most marriages.” p. 330.

“He looked surprisingly old…but, then, all the veterans did.” p. 335.

Red: “The goddam officers…a bunch of college kids who think it’s [the war’s] like going to a football game.” p. 347.

“What the hell is it to the General if we get knocked off…just an experiment that got fugged-up.” p. 347.

To be continued.

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