1) What does Emily mean when she tells Charlie not
to Americanize her?
2) What is Charlie's view of Americans? Is he representative of
the American character? If so, how? If not, why not?
3) What is Charlie's criticism of war? What are war's virtues,
according to Charlie? What does he show Emily's mother and Emily
4) What is the difference between love and principle? What is
Charlie's point about a lion in the house? How is that point reflected
in his response to the movie the Admiral wants Charlie to make,
and to the Admiral's vision of the tomb for the unknown sailor?
5) Charlie says, "Life isn't good or bad or true. It's merely
factual. It's sensual. It's alive. My idea of living, sensual
facts are: You, a home, a country, a world, a universe, in that
order. I want to know what I am, not what I should be. The fact
is I'm a coward. I've never met anyone who wasn't." Is he
right about himself? About Emily?
6) Why does Emily become involved with Charlie? Why does she agree
to marry him? And, why does she tell him it is over? Why do you
suppose she takes him back, and persuades him to play the part
of the hero?
7) Does Charlie learn anything from Emily? Does Charlie Americanize
1) Consider Charlie's repugnance for war and its
opportunities of heroism and glorification of courage. How would
our authors treat Charlie? Is he to be admired or despised and
loathed, as Emily argues?
2) Are there similarities between Charlie's opinion
of war and Augustine's? If so, what are they? What are the differences
(consider specifically what each says about God and love)?
3) These scenes bypass the question of the justice
of this war. Yet they raise questions about Charlie's responsibilities
as a soldier in the chain of command and the wisdom of risking
Charlie's and other men's lives to make this movie. Do Aquinas's
considerations shed light on Charlie's situation?
4) Would Kant praise or blame Charlie's "religion"
of cowardice? Why or why not? Would the world be more peaceful
if we all thought and felt like Charlie?