Long Halftime Walk Analysis

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In Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Fountain uses fanatical imagery to describe the numerable possessions of the Dallas Cowboys stadium as a reference to the overall excessiveness that Americans believe to be average. This quantitative synopsis of the country as a whole leads the American people to undervalue other countries and other ways of life outside of what is perceived as “normal.”

America is home of the free, the brave, and the powerful…according to Americans. One of the benefits of being the biggest and the “bravest” countries is that it has the ability to protect and help others. Since many civilians of the United States have never seen the reality of serving in the military it is easy to cheer the military on, but
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Fountain gives the reader a glance into the comforts that these football players would be leaving behind like the equipment room is the size and dimensions of a small airplane hangar” (180). Without this “stuff” the football players would be nothing. Without this team the Dallas Cowboys fans would be nothing. Without a military that is numerically larger than any other military in the world the American people, Fountain suggests, would feel they are nothing, left unprotected. Billy questions this ingrained typical American idea when he says, “How does it all come to be, that’s what he wants to know, not just the how but the why of all this stuff. Only in America, apparently. Only America could take such a product-intensive sport and grow it into the civic necessity it is today” (183). These questions resonate with Billy. He cannot seem to understand these “children blessed with too much self esteem” (45). The normality of the ignorant behavior that has been perceived by Billy is accurately described. For many, it takes partaking in a similar situation in order to practice empathizing rather than pity. But “no amount of lecturing will enlighten them as to the state of pure sin toward which war inclines”
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