Unformatted text preview: Heller uses several debates in the novel to reveal character or to consider values. One of the best known is the one between Nately and the old man at the brothel in Rome. Nately is a sincere, innocent, thoughtful young man who has been raised with all the advantages except street smarts. He is convinced that he is in love with a prostitute who is particularly callous except when it comes to her twelve-year-old sister, who is not yet in the profession. The old man is a practical hedonist. He argues that dying for one's country is a foolish enterprise. "America will lose the war," he says. "And Italy will win it." Italy already is doing better than the United States, the old man argues, because her soldiers are defeated and thus no longer dying. The old man has welcomed the Italian Fascists, the German Nazis and now the Allies into Rome. It was he, we learn, who hit Major _______ de German Nazis and now the Allies into Rome....
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- Fall '11
- old man, licentious old man, thoughtful young man, sacrilegious old man