The Naked and the Dead

novel by Norman Mailer

The Naked and the Dead is a novel written by an American author named Norman Mailer. It was published in 1948. The novel was based on Mailer's experience as a cook while he was stationed in the Philippines.[1] It is about the experiences about one platoon during World War II as they fight in the South Pacific.

The Naked and the Dead
Author of the book
AuthorNorman Mailer
Country United States
PublisherRinehart & Company
Publication date

It became very popular. It was turned into a film in 1958.

Plot change

The story takes place on the fictional island of Anopopei in the South Pacific and is about American soldiers trying to drive off the Japanese so that they can advance into the Philippines.

Part 1- Wave change

Staff Sergeant Sam Croft, Woodrow Wilson, and Roy Gallagher are playing cards the night before a scheduled attack. They are members of a recon platoon fighting on Anopopei. The next morning, as the platoon takes boats to the island, they are nervous. Sgt. William Brown and Cpl. Stanley talk about women and the other men in their squad. The assault begins, and as the platoon waits for their turn to come to the island, they nervously joke among themselves. Once the squad reaches the beach, they dig foxholes. Stanley picks a fight with Oscar Ridges and Red Valsen, but ultimately Red knows the time is not right for a fight, and he backs down. Croft leaves to find his commanding officer. Once they’ve begun to settle in on the beach, the Japanese attack. The squad splits up. Cpl. Toglio, Hennessey, and Ridges have completed their foxholes, so they stay on the beach. Brown, Gallagher, Wilson, Red, Stanley, and Sgt. Julio Martinez run after Croft. As the beach is shelled, Hennessey panics and soils himself. He runs down the beach to try to clean his pants, but he is killed.

Part 2- Argil and Mold change

Croft pleads with higher officers to give him more men to replace those lost. He ultimately earns an extra replacement man, bringing the squad up to fourteen. Roth and Goldstein, two of the new men in the platoon, become friends because they are both Jewish.

Part 3- Plant and Phantom change

Part 4- Wake change

Characters change

  • Hennessey is a newer member of the platoon. He is very cautious as to not get killed. When they arrive at the beach of Anopopei, he defecates in his pants out of fear. He has a mental breakdown and runs down the beach in hopes of getting new pants. He is killed soon after by shrapnel from an exploding mortar shell.

Writing change

"Fug" change

The publisher would not let the word "fuck" be in the novel, so Mailer used the word "fug" to replace it.

References change

  1. "Norman Mailer Interview". Academy of Achievement. Chicago, Illinois. 2015. Archived from the original on 23 March 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.