Going After Cacciato

Going After Cacciato

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Harold Murphy Character Analysis

An American soldier in the Vietnam War, and assigned to the same battalion as Paul Berlin. Harold Murphy is the first soldier in squad three to refuse to pursue Cacciato. He leaves the other soldiers while they’re still in Vietnam, explaining that he doesn’t want to endanger his life by crossing into Laos.
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Harold Murphy Character Timeline in Going After Cacciato

The timeline below shows where the character Harold Murphy appears in Going After Cacciato. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Vietnam and the Chaos of War Theme Icon
Obligation vs. Escape Theme Icon
Survival and Self-Preservation Theme Icon
...Corson asks Berlin about Cacciato’s squad—which consists of Berlin, Doc, Eddie Lazzutti, Stink, Oscar, and Harold Murphy . Corson tells Berlin that this squad, squad three, is going after Cacciato. (full context)
Fantasy, Magical Realism, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Vietnam and the Chaos of War Theme Icon
Obligation vs. Escape Theme Icon
Discontinuity and Trauma Theme Icon
Survival and Self-Preservation Theme Icon
...cooking himself breakfast. Lieutenant Corson wakes up and announces, “let’s do it.” Eddie, Oscar, and Harold Murphy proceed towards Cacciato, while Corson and the other soldiers stay behind, “to block a retreat.”... (full context)
Chapter 3
Vietnam and the Chaos of War Theme Icon
Survival and Self-Preservation Theme Icon
...He shows Corson the group’s progress: they’re nearing the neighboring country of Laos—a dangerous area. Harold Murphy , who carries the squad’s “big rifle,” mutters that the soldiers should let Cacciato go,... (full context)
Vietnam and the Chaos of War Theme Icon
Obligation vs. Escape Theme Icon
Discontinuity and Trauma Theme Icon
...of squad three decide to have a meeting to determine the fate of their mission. Harold Murphy is among the first to speak up—he argues that they should turn back, rather than... (full context)
Vietnam and the Chaos of War Theme Icon
Obligation vs. Escape Theme Icon
Survival and Self-Preservation Theme Icon
...for Cacciato, winning the vote for the “go-aheads.” The next morning, the soldiers discover that Harold Murphy has left, and left behind his big rifle. Oscar Johnson picks up the rifle, and... (full context)
Chapter 6
Fantasy, Magical Realism, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Vietnam and the Chaos of War Theme Icon
Following Harold Murphy ’s desertion, the soldiers continue West into Laos, led by an increasingly unhealthy Lieutenant Corson.... (full context)
Chapter 11
Vietnam and the Chaos of War Theme Icon
Obligation vs. Escape Theme Icon
Discontinuity and Trauma Theme Icon
Survival and Self-Preservation Theme Icon
...soldiers are near a village called Hoi An. Cacciato—still a soldier at this time—works with Harold Murphy , Oscar, and Vaught to prepare marching on. (full context)
Chapter 18
Obligation vs. Escape Theme Icon
Survival and Self-Preservation Theme Icon
...Cacciato,” but Johnson insists that they must all look there. Everyone drinks a toast to Harold Murphy , and to their memories together. Doc then proposes a toast to Lieutenant Corson—a man... (full context)
Chapter 46
Fantasy, Magical Realism, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Vietnam and the Chaos of War Theme Icon
Obligation vs. Escape Theme Icon
Discontinuity and Trauma Theme Icon
Survival and Self-Preservation Theme Icon
...the other soldiers were supposed to arrest Cacciato on the hill in Vietnam. Stink and Harold Murphy are still present, and Doc tells Berlin to relax—Berlin is suffering from “the biles” once... (full context)