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Essay on Where Men Win Glory, by Jon Krakauer

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Throughout the ages, men and women have been at the heart of myths and legends, evolving into tragic heroes in large part due to the embellishment bestowed upon them over the ages. From Odysseus and Achilles to Brutus, Hamlet, and King Lear, epic poems have revolved around the tragic hero. Pat Tillman was a man of many aptitudes and virtues, never satisfied by the mediocre, striving for more adventure, more meaning, in his tragically short time on Earth, and personifying the phrase carpe diem. Even Pat Tillman had tragic flaws; his unwillingness to be typical, his undying loyalty to family and country, and his curiously concrete set of morals amalgamated to set in motion Tillman’s eventual death. These, whatever the outcome might have been, are not by any means, the archetypical tragic flaws. They are, as Jon Krakauer later described, “tragic virtues.” Where Men Win Glory is not solely a tribute to Pat Tillman. What makes it truly unique is its exhaustively comprehensive history preceding Tillman’s death, and equally essential, the events that transpired following his death, including the cover-ups, scandals, corruption, falsified documents, indignities, and lies that facilitated, also, in emphasizing the core themes, of which Tillman was the epitome. Tillman’s fidelity and devotion to the people whom he loved, the use of misinformation and cants surrounding his death, and others’ responses to what Tillman considered paramount in his life all played a key role in the tragedy of a man who won glory.
The first thing someone would notice about Pat Tillman was not his size or athletic ability; it was his devotion to everything he loved, be it his family, friends, sport, country, or virtues. Being raised by a family with a hi...


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...l live on. Pat Tillman was a man who displayed his subjective side to everyone he encountered by being cautious and calculating at times and emotional and wise at others. He strived for ways to prove to himself, more than anyone else, that he could overcome tremendous odds to not only survive, but live life to the fullest. When the government failed Tillman’s memory, and therefore everyone he loved by not divulging the truth, the story of Tillman’s life was written in order to protect not only Tillman’s memory and his loved ones, but also people like Jessica Lynch. It is important to note, however, that the tone of this biography is not one of sadness, remorse, regret, and grief, but one that celebrates who Tillman was. During life, Pat Tillman was the embodiment of dedication and loyalty; in death, he is a man who won glory by winning the hearts of America.



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