A Rumor of War

A Rumor of War

by

Philip Caputo

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Lieutenant Frank Reasoner Character Analysis

A short, stocky twenty-nine-year-old who is ex-enlisted. He worked his way through the ranks to become a first lieutenant. He was a husband and a father whom Caputo liked a lot for “his air of quiet maturity.” A few hours after he and Caputo split a beer, a helicopter returns his body. Reasoner has been shot across the belly by a machine gun. During a patrol, Reasoner’s company ran into a couple of “enemy machine-gun nests.” He charged one of the guns single-handedly, “knocking it out of action.” He then fired his carbine at the second gun and ran to pick up one of his wounded. He was killed in the process. He is posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and a camp and a ship are both named after him.

Lieutenant Frank Reasoner Quotes in A Rumor of War

The A Rumor of War quotes below are all either spoken by Lieutenant Frank Reasoner or refer to Lieutenant Frank Reasoner . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Owl Books edition of A Rumor of War published in 1977.
Chapter Twelve Quotes

That night, I was given command of a new platoon. They stood in formation in the rain, three ranks deep. I stood front and center, facing them. Devlin, Lockhart, and Bryce were in the first rank, Bryce standing on his one good leg, next to him the faceless Devlin, and then Lockhart with his bruised eye sockets bulging. Sullivan was there, too, and Reasoner and all the others, all of them except me, the officer in charge of the dead. I was the only one alive and whole, and when I commanded […] they faced right, slung their rifles, and began to march. They marched along, my platoon of crippled corpses, hopping along on the stumps of their legs, swinging the stumps of their arms, keeping perfect time while I counted cadence. I was proud of them, disciplined soldiers to and beyond the end. They stayed in step even in death.

Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lieutenant Frank Reasoner Character Timeline in A Rumor of War

The timeline below shows where the character Lieutenant Frank Reasoner appears in A Rumor of War. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Twelve
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
Loyalty and Camaraderie Theme Icon
War and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...platoon. Devlin, Bryce, and Lockhart are in the first of three ranks. Sullivan and Frank Reasoner, another deceased soldier, are there, too. In fact, everyone who stands in formation is dead.... (full context)
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
The Morality of War Theme Icon
War and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...Many are suffering from anxiety and depression. He, too, thinks about men like Sullivan and Reasoner and feels emptiness and a sense of futility. He hates going to the scoreboard and... (full context)