Back to FHTE. After reading the thread, I think most people missed the relationship between Prewitt and Warden. Warden sees himself in Prewitt. Prewitt is Warden and while the top kick sees the soldier in Prewitt that he can become, he also sees the independent streak in Prewitt that was somewhat extinguished in Warden. Prewitt, though he needs the "sea daddy", the mentor, that Warden can be, resents Warden looking out for him.
What are my favorites parts in the novel? The stockade experience and how Prewitt realizes that nearly anyone placed in that type of authority can become a Fatso Judson. When the one buck sargent that fought Prewitt kills himself. He is one that went all the way with the homosexuals. After being beaten by a little man - Prewitt - he doubts himself and his manhood and believing himself to be a fag, kills himself. Jones description of this one act that can never be taken back or corrected is awesome. It is somewhat ironic, that the actor that portrayed Prewitt in the movie - Montgomery Clift - was an homosexual. I know it is off track, but one part in the movie I loved is when Frank Sinatra takes a chair and hits Fatso Judson (Ernest Borgnine) upside the head with it. One of the great American novels and a fantastic movie.
Check out my Fiction As History link in Reply #43. The reason why this description was so great was that Jones' own father committed suicide. You will also see how Jones' family in the Midwest used to be in the upper crust of his town but eventually were lowered by economic conditions to a hard scrabble life.
James Jones is my favorite author and I have read nearly everything from him.
So you must have read Go To The Widowmaker. I quickly realized that the main character was DIRECTLY based on Jones himself and did a lot of personal research on that book. I found out that every character I researched was based on a real person and that the incidents were true. I think I'll have to read Jones' Merry Month Of May about the student/worker strike in Paris (he used to live there) in 1968.
BTW, Jones was a visiting professor down here in South Florida around 1974-1975 at Florida International University. He was perfectly content to stay on since he liked it here but FIU stupidly refused him a minor salary increase. This is the same FIU that freely spends money to give students free massages and pizzas (I plead guilty to grabbing a few slices myself the other day). The point is FIU was incredibly short-sighted by refusing the minor salary increase and allowing American's GREATEST novelist to slip away.