||"I feared the war, yes, but I also
feared exile. I was afraid of walking away from my own life, my friends and my family, my
whole history, everything that mattered to me. I feared losing the respect of my parents.
I feared the law. I feared ridicule and censure." (p. 48).
|"I'd be screaming at them, telling
them how much I detested their blind, thoughtless, automatic acquiescence to it all, their
simple-minded patriotism, their prideful ignorance, their love-it-or-leave-it platitudes,
how they were sending me off to fight a war they didn't understand and didn't want to
understand." (p. 48).
||"It's not just the embarrassment of
tears. That's part of it, no doubt, but what embarrasses me much more, and always will, is
the paralysis that took my heart. A moral freeze: I couldn't decide, I couldn't act, I
couldn't comport myself with even a pretense of modest human dignity." (p. 59).
|"All those eyes on me - the town,
the whole universe - and I couldn't risk the embarrassment. It was as if there were an
audience to my life...and in my head I could hear people screaming at me. Traitor! they
yelled. Turncoat! Pussy! I felt my self blush. I couldn't tolerate it. I couldn't endure
the mockery, or the disgrace, or the patriotic ridicule. I couldn't make myself be brave.
It had nothing to do with morality. Embarrassment, that's all it was." (p. 61-62).