American Sniper is a story of Chris Kyle, a sniper, who entered the history of the USA as the most effective killer. For six years in Iraq, the number of deaths caused by him made his opponents modestly name him The Devil of Ramadi. In addition to working as a sniper, he was cleaning the territory of Iraq together with other militants operating the M-16 weapon. He wished that a list of murders had gone far beyond the official data, according to which, the sniper terminated 160 combat targets. On the completion of service, the American Sniper Chris Kyle published his memoirs, in which one can find a detailed answer to the popular questions including, “How many people did Chris Kyle kill in total?” and “How was he feeling after all these events?”
In general, Kyle held a very interesting viewpoint. During the war in Iraq, the man understood that he was lucky as he was able to do something significant for his country and managed to be in the place where he was really needed and could prove his loyalty to the American flag. Kyle asserted that he made the good and destroyed the evil and believed that anyone who raised his arms to an American soldier should die. Therefore, for the most part, his memoirs describe how he was killing insurgents in Iraq; the author provides detailed descriptions of all circumstances and weapons he used. In the book, there is a lot of violence, but it was a result not of the man’s cruelty but rather of patriotism and devotion to the own country and people. The life of Chris Kyle, the most effective sniper in the history of the United States, is worth of being eternalize not only on the pages of a book but also in cinema.
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It is the life of a soldier and true patriot of his country. Chris Kyle tells a story of his life in a simple language, filled with austere facts and scanty emotions, which are characteristic of a man. He describes everything honestly and sincerely. The man has nothing to hide and nothing to regret about. His honesty and sincerity are the main values of the book. This story is not just a narrative about the war. Kyle reveals a secret side of his real life to the reader as to a good friend without any decorations, just the way it is. He is a true American, a man from Texas; direct and honest; a patriot of his country. He is solid and real. Kyle’s actions are filled with clear and precise motivation. He is a father, a husband, a soldier, and a faithful friend. Without knowing that Chris Kyle was a real person, one might think that he is the fruit of the author’s imagination, artistic hyperbole; however, in fact, he is a living man, who is impossible not to admire.
The book is written in a clear and simple language as if the author is telling about his life not from the pages, but sitting in a bar or at home at a table with a glass of beer. Such feeling arises due to the fact that everything that happens is depicted in a lively and interesting manner. The narration that describes the war in its most frightening facets, the way it was seen and experienced by an ordinary person; thus, it does not sound like a boring text in history books. It presents facts and events easily and without any dressing-up. The book vividly demonstrates the patriotism of ordinary Americans that is real, but not cinematic, and consists in little things in small everyday situations.
The most memorable passage is the description of firefighters who worked on the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks; knowing that the man goes to the war in Iraq, they gave him via his father a firefighter hat, found on the site of the attack. While the American hero was away at the war, his neighbors were mowing his lawn. A physical therapist, who worked at the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club, left his job to work with the injured soldiers and veterans who required rehabilitation. It seems to be trifles, but behind every story, there is a living person.
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In the book American Sniper, the readers see a hero not only his military successes but also in his family problems. Readers have a chance to witness him not only in his strengths but also weaknesses and experience that he is alive. It is an example of an ideal human. Everything depends on the details, “I grew up in small town with strong traditional values: family, patriotism, self-confidence” (Kyle, McEwen, and DeFelice 12). Such feelings are laid deep in a person, and life circumstances only help them reveal. After all, Kyle was unselfish and irrevocably in love with his country. “If it was necessary, I would have laid the priorities in the following order: God, Country, Family”(Kyle, McEwen, and DeFelice 14). The policy is quite a different thing; after all, it is neither the country nor the nation. Chris Kyle loved America, even in the moments when it was difficult to him. The following saying contains the best idea the reader can get from the reading, “The meaning of the war, Patton said, is not to die for the country, but that person on the other side to die for his” (Kyle, McEwen, and DeFelice 36).
Chris Kyle was a real fighter serving in the elite unit of the U.S. Navy SEALs, and apparently found himself exactly where he had to be (U.S. Navy). He said that shooting the enemies left no chance for the equal confrontation. The man pointed out that the Navy SEALs did not teach how to kill mujahids with a gun. Consequently, they made him something more than an ordinary soldier, but a specially prepared person who knows his job and does it better than anyone (U.S. Navy). In the book, Kyle often jokes; he describes how his counterparts painted their bulletproof vests, helmets, and faces in the style of The Punisher as the enemies of the American army used to call them (Dawn 28). They associated themselves with the Crusaders, attempting to provoke fanatical Muslims even more. In between, they were drinking Coke, swinging, and playing PlayStation. In the book, Chris Kyle is not trying to humiliate anyone, but he asserts that if terrorists put weapons into the hands of children and hid behind them, he had no other choice but to take a gun and protect his friends, American soldiers (Dawn 28).
The book can be divided into two parts; in general, they describe different stages of Kyle’s life. One depicts him as a soldier in the natural, comfortable, and common to Iraq surroundings. The second one is his short periods at home when he spent time with his family and friends. The main character is the same but the inner feeling and view of reality are very different when he stayed in these contrary worlds. In the world of the war, Iraq, and comrades, Kyle was alive, and he could apply his best professional and personal qualities. Ability and skill to kill people for protecting his friends, other soldiers became an inseparable part of his body and character. Having a possibility to be useful for his comrades and country allowed Kyle to feel the importance of his life and activity.
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When the hero came back home, he experienced the lack of oxygen; he could not apply his now inseparable skill to protect others and kill the enemies that were all around and targeted his friends and him. The peaceful life of Chris Kyle was filled with flashbacks to the times when he was at the war and was attacked by the terrorists; he experienced a constant desire to make use of his skill and willingness to protect his country in the instances where he was the most needed and necessary. His wife was a courageous woman who supported him all the time and accepted him the way he was. She understood his willingness to protect the country and sacrifice his life for the sake of his homeland and family.
The book describes a number of bright events in the life of the main character. The most impressive are those that Chris Kyle experienced during his war service (Mooney 29). On the other hand, his personal life was quite interesting and emotional, as well. Probably, the most memorable scene is the one that describes the moment when Kyle’s wife was pregnant and was about to give birth to their son. When Taya called him to say that the baby was born, her husband and his comrades were surrounded by the terrorists and had an extremely difficult situation trying to survive.
Taya was always nervous about the fact that Chris was risking his life and exposed her at risk of becoming a single mother and widow. One of the most memorable scenes was the episode of the Kyle’s first shot when the man had his first chance to protect his comrades; he had to kill a woman that was holding a bomb (Mooney 34). The most impressing fact is that the suicide bomber did not care about the consequences of her actions. Even though there were children in the street, and she was holding a child in her hands, she still aimed to kill American soldiers.
One of the most stressing scenes in the book is the one depicting the moment when comrades found the place with the corpses of American soldiers. Kyle was extremely nervous about finding his brother; at the same time, he was grieving for the dead man that they found in the house of the terrorists under the floor. The cruelty and bloodiness of the war are frightening, but the power of the hero’s character and his confidence in the future success of their campaign make one continue reading until the end of the book.
When a reader takes a close look at the character throughout the book, one can see that a personality of Chris Kyle had not changed from the very beginning of the book and throughout his life and professional career (Coughlin and Bruning 296). The hero mentions that his father was an honest and always straightforward person; he never changed his mind and was direct to himself and the surrounding people. He was an ideal for young Chris, that is why he aimed to be like his father; the man claims that this idea helped him to be the way he was and not to change during his life. The reader can witness a professional growth of the main character along with the development of the events in the book. However, the personality, views, and ideals do not change; moreover, the aim of life stays the same from the very beginning until the very end. Kyle was fully aware of what he was doing, and he knew that many of his American friends did not understand and condemned the war.
At the same time, he did not try to find a middle ground or idealize the war, the only aim of the book was telling about everything from his unbending point of a true warrior (Coughlin and Bruning 195). “No matter what your mother may say, violence solves most of the problems.” – this saying was the motto of Chris Kyle’s life, and it was the main idea of his activities in the peacetime veterans’ rehabilitation center (Kyle, McEwen, and DeFelice 268). Eventually, the book played a decisive role in his life and death; a year after the publication, Chris Kyle was killed on February 2, 2013. A veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, a former soldier with post-traumatic stress, shot him dead. Readers admire and enjoy the American Sniper that, unlike many books about the war, does not portray soldiers as barbarians and morons. Chris Kyle became an example of an American hero, admired by millions of Americans.
Leaving the service as a sniper was not particularly easy. A few months later, Kyle became a grateful visitor of the nearest bar, but then overcame this problem and switched to other activities. His first non-profit project was the work for the major U.S. retailer simulator. Thanks to the work and perseverance of a man, many veterans were provided with personal trainers at home for free. In 2011, he gathered a group of the Iraq soldiers and founded the Craft International under the slogan, “No matter what your mother may say, violence solves most of the problems” (Kyle, McEwen, and DeFelice 268). The company was engaged in conducting rehabilitation of war veterans and training personnel for private security firms.
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Chris Kyle became known and loved by the whole country for his patriotism, honesty, and perseverance. A publisher, Harper Collins, released his autobiography, American Sniper. Autobiography of the most lethal sniper in US military history. The hero refused the royalties of $1.8 million in favor of several charitable organizations. The book showed Americans the other side of the war in Iraq.
Most people could not understand the idea of the war in Iraq. However, when reading this book, they had a chance to see the life of an ordinary American man who became a professional sniper and protector of others. A simple soldier managed to become an international hero, who was loved by the whole country and honored by the government. In general, the book provides the most detailed description of the life of the most prominent U.S. sniper of all times. His life is filled with actions and events, some of them are not even possible to imagine happening with common citizens.
The language of the book is simple; it describes the life, training, war, and personal life of the main character in details and with a touch of closeness with the reader. Chris Kyle was a unique person who did not change his ideals during his life. The man was always fighting not for the democracy but for other Americans, whose lives were threatened by the terrorists. Moreover, he protected his friends, soldiers, during the war in Iraq. The book describes the most important events of his life and depicts the peculiarities of the wartime, as well as shows the moments of rest during the war. Kyle’s life and character became a story of a hero, a true prominent citizen of the country, who protected peace and clear sky for the whole nation. In addition, the readers all over the world gratefully accepted the book. Later the American Sniper was also filmed; in such a manner, the world managed to file the great story of Chris Kyle’s life forever in its history.