Where Men Win Glory

by Jon Krakaner

Pat Tillman Character analysis

Pat Tillman, a household American name, that symbolizes what a true patriot is, as a professional football player entering his prime, leaves behind everything he knows and loves to fight for something he believes in. Yet, Patrick Tillman's life story digs much deeper then his tittle as a professional football player and as an American patriot. Before Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan as a result of friendly fire he was a son, a husband, an older brother, a student and an athlete. Tillman stood 5''11 with tan skin, high cheek bones and a broad muscular body. He had the world at his fingertips at a young age with a beautiful girlfriend and an amazing athletic ability, with a bound scholarship to college. Yet Tillman strayed from the stereotypical cocky dumb jock all of his life, and developed a keen interest in reading, being open-minded and getting to know people for who they really are. He was described by his friends and family as a free thinker who was always interested in listening to someone else's point of view, whom ever that individual might be. Throughout Tillman's college experience, he thrived on the football field, yet perhaps more significantly he thrived in the classroom. Making good grades his goal, an area that did not come easy to him in the past. Yet throughout Pat's life, he prospered in response to his conflicts and challenges and ended up graduating with an outstanding 3.8 grade point average. Pat was the type of person that was never satisfied or content with himself, always setting goals of completing marathons, triathlons and any challenge in nature that came his way. Although Pat was an amazing individual, he was still human. Pat's biggest mistake in life was getting in a brawl in high school between a rival town where in an effort to protect his friend he ended up severally injuring another kid. As described through Pat's wife Mary, Pat never lived that night down and made it his goal to never let anything like that happen again. Although this conflict had a negative effect, it served as a milestone in Pat's life allowing him to grow as an individual and shape himself to never let anything like that ever happen again. It goes without saying, that Tillman was the opposite of conceited and self centered as he set aside a multi million dollar offer from the Arizona Cardinals to join the Rangers with a salary being a fraction of that. Even in spite of his inspiring act of courageousness to join the Rangers, it was still never in Pat's DNA to put himself on a pedestal. Pat joined the Rangers to fight for something he believed in, not to brighten his image. Pat made it clear that he did not want to be used as a symbol of propaganda as he states to an army friend, "I don't want them to parade me through the streets".Yet his caring humble attitude was not left behind when he left his career and family to join the Rangers. Pat was described by his fellow army men as an an amazing person, and the type of guy that would hear out and talk to the most hated guy in the platoon. Patrick Tillman was a true definition of a tragic hero, and his story will live on forever inspiring people to fight for what they believe in.

Over coming obstacles

One of the main themes that developed in Jon Krakauer's novel, Where Men Win Glory, adding to the plot was the theme of perseverance . This theme is supported by Pat Tillman's actions throughout his life that resulted in him being the amazing man that he was. Pat's perseverance and determination really bloomed when he was set up against the obstacle of college. Aside from Pat's obvious goal of thriving on the college football field so he could pursue his dream of playing in the NFL, Tillman was determined to excel in the classroom. Throughout high school, Pat struggled with school, not to the point that he was failing, yet nothing but success was considered acceptable for Pat. Pat put in countless hours studying for tests doing homework and even meeting with a tutor more than once a week. Pat graduated from Arizona State University with a close to perfect GPA of a 3.8. Another example of Pat's perseverance shining and adding to the plot was his transition from playing Linebacker to Safety so that he could puruse his NFL dream. Tillman was told most of his life that he could not play Division 1 football and he had no chance of playing in the NFL. Tillman's NFL dream seemed to be impossible due to the fact that NFL teams did not want him because they believed he was too short and too slow for Linebacker. Yet Tillman's perseverance to play in the NFL shined as he overcame this obstacle and totally revamped and changed his game transitioning from Linebacker to Safety. This took Tillman understandably a great deal of time and an extrodraniory amount of hours of work to master a new position different from the one he had played his whole life. At the end of Tillman's career, (as he was entering his prime) he was considered a very good Safety, who turned down multi- million dollar offers from many teams. Yet Perhaps the biggest showing of Tillman's perseverance while adding to the plot was shown as he left his life behind to fight for his country. Pat among many Americans was devastated and angry about the terrorist assault on America by Osama Bin Laden on, 9/11/2001 that left thousands of American civilians dead and injured. Yet Pat also differed from many Americans in that he was willing to leave his career, family and friends behind due to his determination to fight for what he believed in. In making his decision, Pat left the world with an amazing inspirational quote that defined his determination which was that, "Sports embodied many of the qualities that I deem meaningful. However, these last few years, and especially after recent events, I've come to appreciate just how shallow and insignificant my role is....It's no longer important."

Where Men Win Glory Critique

Jon Krakauer out did himself in his popular novel sweeping the nation, "Where Men Win Glory." Krakauer tells the life story of the American hero Patrick Tillman, who left his multi- million dollar professional football career behind to join the army after the 911 terrorist attacks that shook America. The beginning of the Novel is written in a unique and interesting two dimension format that demonstrates a great way of peaking the reader's interests from the opening pages. One dimension represents Pat's life leading up to his deployment in Afghanistan where the reader almost gets to know Pat as a person through documented interviews between his family and friends. Krakauer brings the reader into the life and football career of Pat Tillman from high school all the way up to his deployment into the army as he is glorified as an amazing person and athlete throughout the book. The reader learns almost first hand how hardworking, respectful, openminded and talented Pat is through his actions throughout his life. Yet Krakauer also does a great job in that he brings into the novel Pat's mistakes, so the reader can get a better idea of who Pat really is and show how Pat rebounded from his obstacles. The second dimension of the novel representing the problems in the Middle East and the events leading up to war between America and Afghanistan. It is filled with an abundance of historical significance and gives the reader insight into the corruption and tensions that lead to war throughout the Middle East and the occurrence and growth of Osama Bin Ladin, Alquaeda and the Talliban. The two dimensions abruptly become one as Pat leaves his family, friends and his multi-million dollar NFL career behind to join the Rangers for (4) years under the United States of America. Shortly after Pat's deployment in Afghanistan, he was killed by friendly fire. Krakauer does a great job of pulling information to reflect how Pat's death occurred and exposes many of the ways that the United States of America tried to hide how Pat died, by accusing the Taliban for his death. Krakauer exposes unimaginable details left behind by the government and army to cover up Pat's death by illegally burning his uniform and journal to hide how he died. The Novel goes into detail about how the events that took place that day happened, how Pat died, and most horrifically how the government and the Bush administration lied to the Tillman family saying Pat was killed by the enemy, for the use of propaganda. Not only does, Where Men Win Glory share with the world the Tragic story of Pat Tillman or the causes of war, it pieces together and pulls out information about Pat's death that was never scene before by the public, giving the Tillman's a slight form of closer. Through reading Jon Krakauer's novel Where Men Win Glory, the reader is not only exposed to the corruption and fraud that was displayed by the American government in response to Tillman's death, or the events and causes that lead to terrist attacks and War, it reflects the life story of the American icon Patrick Tillman and what an amazing inspirational role model he was.
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Characterization

Throughout the novel, Where Men Win Glory, Pat Tillman is characterized by Jon Krakauer as a humble and selfless young man which leads to the development of the plot. Throughout Pat Tillman's life, he has been praised and put on a pedestal by most of those around him due to his tremendous athletic ability. Yet one of the most remarkable things about Pat is that he never looses his selflessness and his good natured kind- hearted attitude. Pat was described by his family and friends as hard working, humble, loving and always provided an open ear to hear out your problems. In his army Platoon, Pat was always the first guy to help his peers through tough situations and make friends with the guy that did not fit in. As a leader Pat developed great qualities of treating everybody the same and hearing everyones opinions, even if he did not agree with it. As an athlete, people often jump to conclusion and deem Pat a stereotypical dimwitted self -centered jock. Yet Pat Tillman truly showed the world (as he advanced the plot of, Where Men Win Glory) that his selflessness spoke louder then words as he enlisted into the Army Rangers. This act of bravery was just a loud token of the person that Pat Tillman was and represented clearly how he always put others before himself.
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