Behind the Lines Themes

W. E. B. Griffin
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Courage and cowardice

Capt. Robert Macklin is, for most of this story, the personification of cowardice. But toward the very end, he transmutes into a soldier with courage. How does this happen? One possible explanation is the power of shame. Although few mention their contempt for Macklin directly to his face, he can't possibly be unaware of the festering resentments against him held by people like First Lieutenant Phillip McCoy who even boasts that he may shoot Macklin during combat as retribution for his cowardice and evasion during previous engagements. The general perception among the troops is that Macklin will always place his own safety and welfare ahead of others'. There is also an undercurrent of fear that Macklin may, in fact, become a traitor. Thus he is ostracized and held in contempt. But Macklin redeems himself during am ambush raid on a Japanese convoy on Mindanao where he...

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This section contains 631 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Behind the Lines Study Guide
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