Search And Destroy
Stuart Moore

Vietnam War

Character Analysis

In the book Search and Destroy Rick Ward is a complex character. In the beginning Rick is a very calm California beach boy, his skin is tanned and he is always playing volleyball on the beach. Judy said, "Whats with you lately? I can't believe how serious you are about volleyball" (Hughes 3). His life soon changed when his father kicked him out of the house. He had no home and had no job. The only thing he could think to do was join the army and become a man. The army definitely turned Rick into a man. When he got back to the "real world" Rick no longer fit in with his old friends. Without a doubt, Rick was a very complex characters.

Setting Analysis

In Search and Destroy the setting impacts the protagonist. The setting impacted Rick physically and emotionally. When Rick first arrived in Vietnam he was impacted by the smell around all the camps. Rick said, "And the stench was even worse. A soldier told Rick that the smell was from burning sewage. There was no other way to get rid of human waste so the troops poured gasoline onto it and ignited it" (Hughes 65). Rick was also  emotionally impacted when he saw the villages that were destroyed from the war. Rick mentioned, "He saw that everything was covered with red dust, and the people on the street stared at the Americans with hatred in their eyes, sometimes even yelling obscene insults in English"(Hughes 67). In other words, the setting impacted Rick.  

Thematic Analysis

One theme in the book Search and Destroy is racism. In the book their are many racial slurs against the Vietnamese. Many of the soldiers thought all the Vietnamese were all bad. In the story a Vietnamese friend of Rick is beat up by a drunk U.S soldier and cannot work. Rick ask the men in his tent if they could spare some money. All the men in his tent laughed at Rick. "We're here to kill gooks, not to feed them. The guy's probably VC, and you don't have the brains to know it"(Hughes 145). Without a doubt, a theme in the book is racism.