Duty, Honor, Country Address at West Point
In May 1962, General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) delivered this address to cadets at West point. A five-star general, MacArthur played a prominent role in the Pacific theater campaign during World War II, and from 1919-1922 served as the Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after Chapter 32, in which inexperienced young soldiers arrive at Yossarian’s tent and eventually cause him to flee. Ask students to analyze MacArthur’s speech on war and the role of a soldier. How does the novel challenge MacArthur’s ideas of “duty, honor, and country?” Is it reasonable for soldiers like Yossarian to follow the same values as elite officers?