What It Is Like to Go to War - Guilt Summary & Analysis

Karl Marlantes
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Guilt Summary and Analysis

Killing produces guilt, Marlantes explains, and soldiers should be prepared to cope with it. He addresses this issue in Chapter 3. He returns to the incident with the teenaged Vietnamese soldier described in the previous chapter. He had nearly forgotten about the incident until he went into an "encounter group" after the war and was asked to imagine explaining the episode to the family of the boy he had killed. Marlantes broke down sobbing as a flood of emotions returned. While the encounter group had caused the guilt to return, however, it had done nothing to help him cope with it.

The guilty feeling returned repeatedly to Marlantes, and he sometimes broke down into uncontrollable crying. This made work difficult and affected his family relationships. It went on for months until he happened to meet Joseph Campbell, a writer and mythologist, with...

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This section contains 416 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What It Is Like to Go to War Study Guide
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