Dead End in Norvelt
How we cite our quotes:
And then I wondered why the British soldiers would allow themselves to die so easily just because their king told them to go march up a hill and fight. I was thinking that I would tell the king to go fight his own war. (4.3)
Poor, naïve Jack. This comes at the beginning of the book, and Jack hasn't yet stopped to consider that many people don't have a choice whether or not they go to war.
I now guessed he had drifted off thinking about the war and crawling through the sand and finding those dead men and stripping away their weapons and war gear. (6.77)
It's clear that Jack's dad has taken these items as the spoils of war—kind of like a more gruesome version of pirate's booty. What seems to be Jack's attitude about this? How do we feel about Jack's dad after hearing about his experiences in World War II? And why is Jack so interested in these souvenirs?
[O]ur guys had a [...] real hard time with the idea of having to shoot another person you could look in the eye. Our officers had to threaten to shoot some of our own troops if they didn't fire their rifles. (6.79)
Jack's dad paints a grim picture of the realities of warfare. Most soldiers have a difficult time when faced with the immediate reality of killing. Also, the eye thing? Jack covers up the dead deer's eye at the end of the novel so he doesn't see his reflection. Guess there's something a little too real about seeing yourself reflected in the enemy's eyes.