Get American Writers, Supplement XIX PDF

By Leonard Unger;Jay Parini

ISBN-10: 0684315548

ISBN-13: 9780684315546

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The two men argue, and Barlow kills MacKenzie. Uncle Elias, possessing stereotypic native wisdom, has suspected all along that Barlow was not who he pretended to be and is secretly pleased by the chaos that results from his presence. He plans to take advantage of it to move his nephew into MacKenzie’s position after outwitting Barlow, who has taken Uncle Elias hostage. In the end, Uncle Elias outmaneuvers Barlow and dumps his body into the open sea, thereby cleansing himself and the island, however temporarily, of the interfering presence of these outsiders.

Writing from this unassuming perspective allows Caputo to make a personal impact by directing the reader’s attention away from large-scale events and concentrating them on the experiences of and subsequent changes in one individual, thereby explaining how “war, by its nature, can arouse a psychopathic violence in men of seemingly normal impulses” (p. xviii). Though several of Caputo’s uncles served in World War Two, his father did not. Thus, unlike other young men of his generation, Caputo did not inherit directly any military traditions.

Western world could be so brutal. As the memoir progresses, it becomes apparent that not only will Caputo need to come to terms with the potential for violence and savagery in others, but most essentially in himself. As he watched one of the first skirmishes between American forces and the Vietcong in April of 1965, he was forced to accept his intense desire to be part of the fighting. He admits, “I knew then that something in me was drawn to war. It might have been an unholy attraction, but it was there and it could not be denied” (p.

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American Writers, Supplement XIX by Leonard Unger;Jay Parini


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