Study Guide

From Here to Eternity "The Treatment"

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"The Treatment"

When Prewitt refuses to participate in the military boxing tournament, Captain Holmes decides to give him "The Treatment." "The Treatment" is not a treat; it's abuse. It's really, really messed up… and makes the army seem like an extension of the most demented aspects of middle school.

Holmes gets his goons to constantly abuse Prewitt until he relents—which he doesn't do (unless you count getting into a fistfight with Sgt. Galovitch).

When Lorene (Alma) asks Prewitt to explain the treatment, they have this discussion:

LORENE: What's 'The Treatment'?

PREWITT: Some of the guys putting me over the jumps because I won't fight.

LORENE: Fight?

PREWITT: Yeah. On the boxing team. I don't want to box. I don't even want to think about it. I don't want to think about it. And they make me think about it. Every day.

Of course, the irony is that the boxing tournament will never even take place. We, the audience, know (or are supposed to know) that war will break out first.

It makes all of Prewitt's suffering extra pointless—but it also enhances his dignity and his status as a quiet hero. He's enduring a gauntlet that doesn't lead anywhere—but he won't issue an official complaint because he loves the army. He's suffering for the sake of something he loves, selflessly.

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