Fives and Twenty-Fives Summary & Study Guide

Michael Pitre
This Study Guide consists of approximately 89 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Fives and Twenty-Fives.
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Fives and Twenty-Fives Summary & Study Guide Description

Fives and Twenty-Fives Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre.

“We’re in the wilderness. The place without rules. I discovered it on the day when I knew for the first time, really understood, that a stranger was trying to kill me and nothing would change his mind” (p. 9).

These are the words of 2nd Lt. Pete Donovan in the novel “Fives and Twenty-Fives” by Michael Pitre. Donovan is one of a trio of narrators who tells the story of the increasing dangers faced by a platoon of Marines who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The book takes its name from a common battle drill in which troops scan first five feet from their vehicles for bombs, then an area of twenty-five feet on foot. The name is fitting as that drill and other warfare maneuvers described in the book help to keep the Marines alive. Other themes include relationships, leadership and the treatment of war veterans.

Donovan, the first of the three narrators introduced in the novel, is a commissioned officer put in charge of a route clearance platoon after the admired Gunnery Sergeant Stout was killed by a bomb hidden in a curbstone. Donovan had never dreamed he’d pass officer school and still doubts his leadership abilities. He wished to fit in with the men he was supposed to lead but didn’t seem to know quite how. When a crisis emerged and Donovan needed to be a leader, however, he stepped forward in fine fashion. His actions at Ramadi after a coalition helicopter was shot down by a missile earned him a Bronze Star. In the present, as a student in business school, Donovan continues to struggle with leftover regrets from his days in the military.

Lester Pleasant, the second of the narrators introduced in the course of the novel, was a natural at medic work. After graduating first in his class, Pleasant chose to work with the Marine Corp. He believed his perfectly packed medic’s bag and abilities could help save lives. After he watched an admired gunnery sergeant die on the pavement after he’d been hit by a bomb, Lester felt he’d let his leader down and had allowed him to die a disrespectful death. When the second member of his platoon died instantly after he was shot by a sniper, Lester dealt with his frustration by stealing and using the pain medications from his medical bag. Soon he was addicted to the medicines. Just after Ramadi, where his abilities saved the life of Sgt. Michelle Gomez after she was shot in the head, Lester was dismissed from the military because of his addiction. Back in the United States, Lester was unable to get a job as a medic because of the circumstances under which he was sent home. He struggled to find a place for himself back in civilian life.

The final of the three narrators is Kateb al Hariri most often referred to as Dodge, the code name given to him when he began his employment as an interpreter for the Marines. Dodge grew up in a privileged Baghdad family. His father was employed in Saddam’s Ministry of Agriculture. At the beginning of the war, Dodge was interested only in his study of the American novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” He believed the thesis he would produce on this novel would be the key to having the life he desired. Unfortunately it was because of his understanding both of the English language and American culture that made the coalition desire him as an interpreter. Dodge was kidnapped and forced into employment by the United States military, a position that put him in direct opposition with father, brother, and friends who were actively fighting against the Americans. As Dodge matured and grew through the course of the novel he realized that there was a time in which it was beneficial to fight for one’s freedom. Instead of trying to run away from the mess in Tunisia, the country in which he’d taken refuge, Dodge became an active member of the freedom movement.

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This section contains 680 words
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