Moral Ambiguity in Going After Cacciato

Topics: Jesus, Good and evil, Thought Pages: 2 (741 words) Published: January 2, 2007
In accordance with the balance of nature, everything has a good and bad side. Something cannot be considered bad because it has bad qualities, because there is an advantageous side also. Rain, symbolic of rebirth and cleansing, may be thought of as just that, giving life to plants and making the earth green. But others may view rain as an omen, flooding the earth with continuous torrents similar to what Noah had endured. Or another example, angels, messengers of God. They may be considered as good and pure, considering an angel led the three wise men to baby Jesus, but other people may see angels as a bad omen. If they see one, they may think of death or the end of the world. Lieutenant Sidney Martin is portrayed as a morally ambiguous character in Going After Cacciato, as he has no ill intentions toward his men in the novel, but they resent him anyways.

Lieutenant Sidney Martin demonstrates his moral ambiguity with his adherence to military procedures, but his actions, which he believes are standard protocol and thus effective and can be labeled as ¡°good¡±, make his men dislike him and attempt mutiny. Lieutenant Martin can be considered a great military man. He realizes all the choices he has to make in such critical times. ¡°He had many problems to consider: whether to stay on the road, with its danger of land mines but with its advantage of speed, or whether to move instead through the rough country, with less danger but with less speed. He had the problem of heat. He had the problem of sending tired men into the battle. He had other problems, too¡­¡± Lieutenant Martin only has a different way of thinking than the men. ¡°¡­but he was a leader, working through his sergeants according to the old rules of command. This kept his sergeants happy, and it would eventually build respect for him among the men and boys¡­He believed in mission. He believed in men, but he believed in mission first. He hoped that someday the men would come to understand this; that...
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