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Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre

            Even though Michael Pitre's quote suggests that war stories don't focus on the civilians involved, Pitre's interpretation is unique in that he provides insight into the suffering of those not actively participating in war. The way he depicts other people's perspective of the war is why Fives and Twenty Fives has resonated with both civilians and military members. Through the novel, during the Honors Convocation, and the interview with Pitre, it is made known how he felt about the innocent civilians involved and certainly focuses on their role in war.
             A specific instance where the use of civilian guilt is used can be found on page 176. Donovan's platoon passes an older man selling alfalfa hay on the roadside as the man wipes the sweat off his brow. That man embodies all of the guiltless, faultless citizens who struggle mightily during war on their homeland. Peter says the man reminds him of his father, who was also a farmer and suffered through life due to the impact of war. This causes Peter to realize that him and the old man are similar due to their connections in war and their past. An interesting aspect of the novel is how Pitre includes Dodge's perspective so often. With Kateb being a native Iraqi he is in a unique situation. He has lived from the American and Iraqi standpoint, as well as being a contributing member of the military and a civilian. A strong quote from Dodge that embodies his feelings towards the war itself is on page 213 when he says, "There are bad people everywhere." Even though Dodge is a native, he is somewhat "Americanized" and the bias shines through at this particular point in the novel. A perfect example of the American shining through is the constant references to Huck Finn, a classic American novel. Dodge's perspective of the story is by far the most legitimate because of his first hand experiences with both sides of destruction and the most telling of the importance of the civilian point of view Pitre utilizes so often.

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