By Leonard Unger;Jay Parini
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Extra resources for American Writers, Supplement XIX
What shakes Caputo is the idea that someone with whom he identifies and who represents the values and civilization of the 19 PHILIP CAPUTO Caputo found no easy answers, and his job of tallying the dead came to haunt him, giving him nightmares in which he commanded a platoon that included the dead men from his old company. As his guilt over being alive and in relative safety increased, his fears no longer were confined to nocturnal manifestations: during the day he imagined living men as they would look in death, disfigured and maimed.
After being chewed out for an error during training exercises, he determined to prove that he had a right to claim a place in the tough brotherhood of the marines. He says, “Much of my behavior later in Vietnam, good as well as bad, was determined by the rebukes I received that day. They instilled in me a lasting fear of criticism and, conversely, a hunger for praise. ѧ I was ready to die for ѧ a few favorable remarks in a fitness report. Words” (pp. 34–35). Caputo’s compulsion to affirm his competence made him hunger for war.
Eliot, and Drew not to return or contact him before September. The boys are mystified and hurt by his cold rejection, particularly Drew, the youngest at thirteen and least vigorous of the boys. Nate, the oldest, now sixteen, possesses characteristics of typical Caputo heroes: he is brash, quick-tempered, and intolerant of weakness. Though upset by his father’s strange behavior, Nate rallies and soon relishes the opportunity to spend the summer adventuring, looking forward to proving his prowess and maturity.
American Writers, Supplement XIX by Leonard Unger;Jay Parini