Starship Troopers

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”Starship Troopers”
Robert A. Heinlein


“We are the boys who go to a particular place, at H-hour, occupy a designated terrain, stand on it, dig the enemy out of their holes, force them then and there to surrender or die”
(page 76)



It’s told through the eyes of a starship trooper called Johnny Rico. It’s about how Rico endures his military training and faces different situations. One of those situations is a war, a war against a new kind of enemy, an insect life form from an unknown world.
Rico´s destiny lies in a galactic war of unlimited raw violence and futuristic destruction, in which he and his fellow troopers have to make a difference for the future of mankind.

A situation that becomes serious and unexpected with the life of a soldier. A soldier that makes his military training and goes the whole way into a war, all for a right called citizenship. The citizenship is a title you must earned by doing military service, the right gives you different privileges and the right to vote in a futuristic society

The way as I see it is like how a person may face hard issues in his personal life that effect others in a serious situation. How a person can endures a raw and hard life that may for others seam like a cruel life. It’s simply a raw and ordinary life where the person is used to it.


The books main character is Rico but Sergeant Zim has a big part of the story too, here is a short description of the both:

Johnny Rico: A man that joined the army at his 18th birthday, as a step for independence and as prove for himself that he can make it on his own all with a meaning and moral-goal.
As the story develops he gets tougher and rawer, just because it’s a cruel world. His military training make him realise that he can learn from his mistakes and take the consequences, no matter how serious they are. He starts his life as an innocent and inexperienced youngster and finishes as a veteran that have seen more blood and violence that any other soldier.

Sergeant Zim: Rico’s training officer, a hard-knocked man that notice that Rico have something extra and takes him there for under his wings, but he still makes a distance from Rico, he have to make an obligatory line draw between him as an officer and Rico as a rookie.
He is a hard man on the outside and a man with ambitions on the inside.
He teaches his cadets with just violence and sadistic methods, methods that work and are normal facts in this world. He has an enormous influence on Rico as he made good and clear suggestions on how to handle issues and moral-problems.

Other characters in the book are not so important as they don’t contribute with anything to make the story develop.

*Descriptions of the characters are not clear in the book; I believe that it’s so with the intention for the reader to make his own mental-picture of the characters.

The content of the book is told trough the eyes of Rico but at the same time as a dialog between Rico and the reader, a very different concept to tell a story but also very interesting. There are few dialogs between the characters in this book, instead the conversations are told as a “share of meanings without words”. The point of view in the book is as told through the eyes of Rico, he describes different scenes but with almost no details at all, all to give the reader a chance to make his own mental-picture.
Rico’s way of telling the story has tendencies to reflects at past situation at the same time he is in one, the reason is to think everything over and compare past situations with present ones. As I don’t have the habit to read a lot of books I don’t have the possibility to compare this method of telling a story with another book, but I think this is a rare way to present a life reflection. With life reflection I mean that the content of book reflects the main characters life from a young stage in his life to his death.

The composition of the book is divided into 14 chapters; every chapter has different situations that Rico has to handle with. Every chapter has also a kind of intro with moral quotations, to give an idea in how the content will be.

The time in the story is presented as present time. The story is all in present form as at the same time there are past time reflections to several occasions in the story. There aren’t different levels of time but there are different unclear statem...

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Inactive member [2001-02-14]   Starship Troopers
Mimers Brunn [Online]. http://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=430 [2018-05-25]

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