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Jones, James

subject prewitt army eternity

(US, 1921–77)

Jones served with distinction in the Second World War and the nature of military life was to be the major subject of his fiction. From Here to Eternity (1951) was the first book of a planned trilogy about soldiering, followed by The Thin Red Line (1962) and the unfinished Whistle (1978). From Here to Eternity dramatizes the brutal camaraderie of life in an army barracks in a direct naturalistic style. The struggles of Prewitt and Warden to overcome corruption in the institution they revere are powerfully handled. Less convincing, however, is the love-interest and Prewitt's romance is wickedly parodied in Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Jones portrays an authoritarian power structure, the army, which dehumanizes the individual and ironically leads to a crisis of masculinity in the most masculine of environments. The subject receives a more sensitive treatment in his novella The Pistol (1959).

Norman Mailer, Robert Stone. See SEXUAL POLITICS, WAR  GK

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