American Sniper

Taya Kyle Character Analysis

Chris Kyle’s wife, Taya Kyle is the co-narrator of American Sniper. Taya meets Kyle while Kyle is still training to become a SEAL, and they get married shortly before Kyle deploys to Iraq for the first time. Taya loves Kyle intensely, and she struggles with her feelings about Kyle’s military service. On one hand, she admires her husband for his loyalty to his country; on the other, she’s furious with him for refusing to give up the SEALs and spend more time with her, even after they become parents. In all, Taya’s voice is a vital part of American Sniper. She adds a civilian’s perspective to the story of Kyle’s experiences in the Middle East, and her suffering as Kyle’s wife underscores the basic tension of the book: between loyalty to one’s country and loyalty to one’s family.

Taya Kyle Quotes in American Sniper

The American Sniper quotes below are all either spoken by Taya Kyle or refer to Taya Kyle. 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:
The War on Terror Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the HarperCollins edition of American Sniper published in 2013.
Chapter 2 Quotes

"I would lay down my life for my country," he answered. "How is that self-centered? That’s the opposite."
He was so idealistic and romantic about things like patriotism and serving the country that I couldn't help but believe him.

Related Characters: Chris Kyle (speaker), Taya Kyle (speaker)
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5 Quotes

One time I woke up to him grabbing my arm with both of his hands. One hand was on the forearm and one just slightly above my elbow. He was sound asleep and appeared to be ready to snap my arm in half, I stayed as still as possible and kept repeating his name, getting louder each time so as not to startle him, but also to stop the impending damage to my arm. Finally, he woke and let go.
Slowly, we settled into some new habits, and adjusted.

Related Characters: Taya Kyle (speaker), Chris Kyle
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

As far as I can see it, anyone who has a problem with what guys do over there is incapable of empathy. People want America to have a certain image when we fight. Yet I would guess if someone were shooting at them […] they would be less concerned with playing nicely […] picking apart a soldier's every move against a dark, twisted, rule-free enemy is more than ridiculous; it's despicable.

Related Characters: Taya Kyle (speaker)
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

When he reenlisted anyway, I thought, Okay. Now I know. Being a SEAL is more important to him than being a father or a husband.

Related Characters: Taya Kyle (speaker), Chris Kyle
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

"Where are you?" asked Taya when I finally got a hold of her.
"I got arrested."
“All right,” she snapped. "Whatever."
I can’t say I blamed her for being mad. It wasn’t the most responsible thing I've ever done. Coming when it did, it was just one more irritant in a time filled with them—our relationship was rapidly going downhill.

Related Characters: Chris Kyle (speaker), Taya Kyle (speaker)
Page Number: 356
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes

If my son was to consider going into SEALs, I would tell him to really think about it. I would tell him that he has to be prepared.
I think it's horrible for family. If you go to war, it does change you, and you have to be prepared for that, too. I'd tell him to sit down and talk to his father about the reality of things.
Sometimes I feel like crying just thinking about him in a firefight.
I think Chris has done enough for the country so that we can skip a generation. But we’ll both be proud of our children no matter what.

Related Characters: Taya Kyle (speaker), Chris Kyle
Page Number: 420
Explanation and Analysis:

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Taya Kyle Character Timeline in American Sniper

The timeline below shows where the character Taya Kyle appears in American Sniper. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Jackhammered
Country vs. Family Theme Icon
Machismo Theme Icon
...moves to Team 3 in Long Beach, Kyle falls in love with a woman named Taya. They meet at a bar one night: Taya asks Kyle what he does, and Kyle... (full context)
The War on Terror Theme Icon
Country vs. Family Theme Icon
On September 11, 2001, Kyle awakes to a call from Taya, telling him that terrorists have bombed the World Trade Center. Kyle immediately drives to the... (full context)
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...shipped out to Iraq. Assuming that he’ll be in the Middle East soon, Kyle marries Taya. Kyle is deeply in love with Taya but also frightened that the marriage won’t last.... (full context)
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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...before he leaves for his honeymoon. The honeymoon lasts a mere three days, much to Taya’s annoyance—afterwards, Kyle returns to the SEALs and “got back to work.” (full context)
Chapter 3: Takedowns
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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Kyle spends Christmas of 2002 on the Persian Gulf, missing Taya. The SEALs stay in Kuwait, at a large military base that played a major role... (full context)
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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By February of 2003, Kyle is eager to begin fighting for his country. However, Taya is terrified that Kyle will get hurt. She’s particularly worried after Kyle is involved in... (full context)
Chapter 4: Five Minutes to Live
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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...quick, often lasting no more than a minute. Kyle fears what would happen if he died—Taya would be left alone. One night, SEALs report that there is a huge group of... (full context)
Chapter 5: Sniper
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Chris Kyle returns from his first deployment. Taya immediately notes how war has changed him: he’s moody and always angry. Sometimes, he wakes... (full context)
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Around the same time, Taya and Kyle have a baby boy. Kyle feels more nervous watching his wife give birth... (full context)
Chapter 6: Dealing Death
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Kyle returns to Iraq. He feels horrible about leaving Taya only weeks after the birth of their child, but he feels that it’s his duty... (full context)
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Trauma Theme Icon
...nearby apartment complex, where he’ll provide support for troops below. Before he leaves, Kyle calls Taya; it’s a brief conversation, and he only tells her that he’ll be gone for a... (full context)
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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Kyle returns from his second deployment and reunites with Taya. Taya finds it increasingly difficult to talk to her husband: he wakes up screaming in... (full context)
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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Taya also senses that Kyle feels guilty about some of his actions in Iraq—he believes that... (full context)
Chapter 7: Down in the Shit
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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...troops—they know that soldiers have night vision goggles. Kyle spends many of his nights calling Taya, though he rarely tells her what he’s been doing. One night, gunfire breaks out while... (full context)
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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...has tuberculosis (TB). The doctor claims that Kyle will eventually die of TB. Kyle informs Taya of this news, and claims that Taya will “find somebody else.” Taya is heartbroken to... (full context)
Chapter 8: Family Conflicts
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Kyle returns to Taya and his son. He left for Iraq just days after his son was born, and,... (full context)
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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...Kyle savors the adrenaline rush of jumping from a plane. Kyle enjoys spending time with Taya and his son, but also wishes that he could be back in Iraq, fighting alongside... (full context)
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Kyle wants to be back in Iraq more and more each day. Taya is devastated when she learns that he is planning on reenlisting in the military. She... (full context)
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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...Trident, symbolizing his SEAL affiliations, and a cross, symbolizing his faith. He also learns that Taya is pregnant with their second child. She begs him not to leave her for the... (full context)
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Two days before Kyle deploys, Taya learns that she’ll have to have an emergency C-section—her umbilical cord is wrapped around her... (full context)
Chapter 9: The Punishers
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Back in the U.S., Taya struggles to take care of her children. Her mother comes to help her, but she... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Devil of Ramadi
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Taya calls Kyle, and learns that he’s written letters to her and their children, in the... (full context)
Chapter 11: Man Down
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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Back at base, Kyle calls Taya and breaks down while telling her the sad news. Taya feels sorry for her husband,... (full context)
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In September 2006, Kyle learns from Taya that their daughter is sick with leukemia. Kyle is devastated by the news, and decides... (full context)
Chapter 12: Hard Times
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When Kyle returns to Taya and his children in 2006, Taya senses right away that he’s stressed and “numb to... (full context)
The War on Terror Theme Icon
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Machismo Theme Icon
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...Kyle goes to court and pleads guilty to assault, and the judge drops the case. Taya is furious when she finds out what Kyle did; their marriage is “rapidly going downhill.”... (full context)
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...marriage. Kyle realizes that he’s forgotten what it feels like to be in love with Taya. Around this time, he begins talking and texting regularly with one of his old girlfriends.... (full context)
Chapter 13: Mortality
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Back in the U.S. Taya continues to worry about Kyle. Her friends tell her that she doesn’t really know her... (full context)
Chapter 14: Home and Out
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Kyle is sorely tempted to reenlist, even though he promised Taya that he wouldn’t. Taya insists that Kyle’s children need him, even more than his country... (full context)
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...begins teaching his son how to shoot when he’s only two years old. He and Taya talk about sending their children into the military. Kyle insists that he wants his son... (full context)
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...and foremost, he is a father and a husband. He rediscovers his deep love for Taya, and misses her when he’s on business trips. Taya admits that both she and Chris... (full context)