The Yellow Birds: A Novel Characters

Kevin Powers
This Study Guide consists of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Yellow Birds.
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Private John Bartle

Private John Bartle is the novel’s main character and narrator. Nine years after serving in the Iraq War, he’s writing from a cabin on a mountain where he lives, reflecting back on events just before, during and after his time in Iraq. He’s 30 years old as he writes, but was 21 during most of the book’s main events. He’d been in the United States Army for three years and left the Army upon returning from the war.

Bartle is dealing with guilt after his friend and fellow soldier, Daniel Murphy – or Murph – dies in the war and Bartle and another soldier dispose of the body in the Tigris River to protect Murph’s mother from having to see her son’s mutilated and tortured body. He also has post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in Iraq.

Events in Iraq that affect Bartle...

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This section contains 1,456 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Yellow Birds: A Novel Study Guide
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