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The fanatacism, the reliance

Just before dawn knocking comes very loud, hard as steel. Slothrop has the sense this time to keep quiet.

‘Come on, open up.’

‘MPs, open up.’

American voices, country voices, high-pitched and without mercy. He lies freezing, wondering if the bedsprings will give him away. For possibly the first time he is hearing America as it must sound to a non-American. Later he will recall that what surprised him most was the fanatacism, the reliance not just on flat force but on the rightness of what they planned to do… he’d been told long ago to expect this sort of thing from Nazis, and especially from Japs – we were the ones who always played fair – but this pair outside the door now are as demoralizing as a close-up of John Wayne (the angle emphasizing how slanted his eyes are, funny you never noticed before) screaming ‘BANZAI!’

from Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

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