The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, de David Rabe


About Vietnam War, The play is focused on scenes depicting the death of the everyman-like title character, who mindlessly grabs at a live hand grenade tossed into the Saigon brothel he is visiting. A born loser who is drafted into the United States Army, Hummel immediately encounters difficulties with both his sergeants and fellow recruits, none of whom trust him. As he stumbles through basic training and comes ever closer to the battlefield, he is guided by Ardell, a mysteriously ambiguous character who seemingly is an officer but serves as Hummel's conscience and a Greek chorus–like figure as well. Although injured repeatedly, Hummel is so determined to be a soldier he passes up a chance to go home, a decision that ultimately proves fatal.

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