Who Is A Nazi And An American Spy Essay

1983 Words Oct 18th, 2016 8 Pages
How does someone distinguish a person’s real identity from the person they are pretending to be? In the novel Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut creates Howard W. Campbell Jr. who is a Nazi and an American Spy. In the introduction of the book Campbell states, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be” (Vonnegut v). Campbell pretends to be a Nazi and his propaganda become well known around the world. He sits in an Israeli prison awaiting his trial for his war crimes. While Campbell is known as a Nazi and an American spy, Campbell acts like a character in a play living in his own world believing and his actions are his choice, but he is really a puppet to the Nazis and Americans with no allegiance to any nation. Campbell believes he is a character in his own play that takes in many personalities as his own in order to survive. He is set on the idea of a perfect world, which allows him to be more prone to manipulation by other people. For example, Campbell is fixated on his love with Helga, so when Resi pretends to be Helga he reacts by stating, “God forgive me, I accepted Resi as my Helga again” (Vonnegut 138). Campbell has not seen Resi since the day he went to say goodbye before heading to the frontline of the war. He does not realize Resi is not his wife until she tells him the true story of how she took her sister’s identity. Campbell is blinded by his love for Helga and takes in Resi as his new lover, but he does not know her true…

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