With the Old Breed


E.B. Sledge

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“Shadow” Character Analysis

Sledge never names this first lieutenant, whom the Marines in Company K hate and despise. The Marines look down on this officer for being both careless with his appearance and irascible, often throwing a tantrum when he is dissatisfied with his men’s behavior. Shadow demonstrates lack of judgment and further alienates himself from his subordinates when he berates Redifer for an action that all of Redifer’s companions recognize as impressive bravery.

“Shadow” Quotes in With the Old Breed

The With the Old Breed quotes below are all either spoken by “Shadow” or refer to “Shadow”. 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:
Death, Horror, and Trauma Theme Icon
Part 2, Chapter 11 Quotes

The troops often expressed the opinion that whether an enlisted man was or wasn’t recommended for a decoration for outstanding conduct in combat depended primarily on who saw him perform the deed. This certainly was true in the case of Redifer and what he had done to get the ammunition across the draw. I had seen other men awarded decorations for less, but Redifer was not so fortunate as to receive the official praise he deserved. Just the opposite happened.

Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:
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“Shadow” Character Timeline in With the Old Breed

The timeline below shows where the character “Shadow” appears in With the Old Breed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 11: Of Shock and Shells
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship and Camaraderie Theme Icon
...all realize that Redifer has behaved bravely and saved their lives, a first lieutenant, nicknamed “Shadow,” whom everyone hates for being unkempt and irascible, suddenly intervenes. He yells at Redifer for... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12: Of Mud and Maggots
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship and Camaraderie Theme Icon
...a demoralizing turning point on Okinawa. When this commanding officer is replaced by the infamous Shadow, everyone in Company K is outraged. (full context)