Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

by

Ben Fountain

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The Texas Stadium Symbol Analysis

The Texas Stadium Symbol Icon

Early on, Billy observes that the Texas Stadium symbolizes American society. The stadium is filled with thousands of people, boasts of endless food joints and stores, and hosts a football game on a holiday (Thanksgiving) that's unique to America. The stadium offers everything in the way of American culture, from the Jumbotron flashing advertisements to football. Billy also notices that up close, the stadium is also relatively shabby and ill kept, alluding to the income disparity of the American citizens. However, the stadium also looks shiny and wonderful on TV, signifying the media’s power to shaping public opinion—like the way footage from the Bravos’ firefight in Iraq makes Americans think war is exciting, whereas the Bravos know that war is horrific and terrifying. The association between the stadium and America as a whole is reinforced by the fact that the stadium is in Texas, the home state of then-president George W. Bush. In this way, the stadium doesn't just represent America as a culture; it is representative of the very person who leads the country.

The Texas Stadium Quotes in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Texas Stadium. 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:
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ecco edition of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk published in 2012.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Years and years of carefully posed TV shots have imbued the place with intimations of mystery and romance, dollops of state and national pride, hints of pharaonic afterlife such as always inhere in large-scale public architecture, all of which render the stadium of Billy's mind as the conduit or portal, a direct tap-in, to a ready made species of mass transcendence, and so the real-life shabbiness is a nasty comedown.

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Norm Oglesby
Related Symbols: The Texas Stadium
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

It dawns on him that the Texas Stadium is basically a shithole. It's cold, gritty, drafty, dirty, in general possessed of all the charm of an industrial warehouse where people pee in the corners.

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Norm Oglesby, Mango
Related Symbols: The Texas Stadium
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

He glows, which isn't to say he's a handsome man but rather shimmers with high-wattage celebrity, and therein lies the problem, the brain struggles to match the media version to the actual man who looks taller than the preformed mental image, or maybe broader, older, pinker, younger, the two versions miscongrue in some crucial sense which makes it all a little unreal [...]

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Sergeant Dime, Norm Oglesby, Mango
Related Symbols: The Texas Stadium
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

Somewhere along the way America became a giant mall with a country attached.

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Faison, Mango
Related Symbols: The Texas Stadium
Page Number: 222
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk LitChart as a printable PDF.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk PDF

The Texas Stadium Symbol Timeline in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Texas Stadium appears in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. The Thing Begins
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...can't make them mean anything. Since he will sit in the aisle seat at the Texas Stadium later, Billy will have to endure more grateful citizens throughout the day. (full context)
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Family and Brotherhood Theme Icon
...the Texas Stadium despite having grown up eighty miles away from it. Now, as the stadium comes into view, Billy realizes that seeing it on TV has somehow masked the fact... (full context)
2. A Private in the Infantry
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Family and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Bravo arrives at the stadium two hours before the kickoff. Nobody seems to know what to do with them, so... (full context)
3. It is Mostly in Your Head But We Have Cures for That
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
...remembers Kathryn telling him to keep being lucky. He looks around the concourse of the stadium and thinks that it's a truly disgusting place. Mango and Billy decide to abandon their... (full context)
7. We Are All Americans Here
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
Back at the Texas Stadium , Billy thinks that if he were to add up the wealth of every person... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
...even works. Specifically, Billy wants to know where the money comes from to build the stadium and pay the players. Mr. Jones patiently says that it has to do with "leverage... (full context)
8. Dry-Humping for the Lord
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...for a photo. As the cameras flash, Norm evades questions about possibly building a new stadium. Billy muses that the reporters must know that the Bravos are being used to promote... (full context)
18. The Proud Good-Bye
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...game left, Dime declares that it's time to leave. Josh leads them out of the stadium, and Billy texts Faison to meet him outside. Nobody stops the Bravos to thank them... (full context)