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While the surface of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead centres across World War II, its emphasis is on "the conflictbetween the mechanistic forces of their 'system' and the will to person integrity" (Waldron 273). The ultimate domination by the 'system' makes for a very gloomy, hopeless book. Mailer explores this conflict mainly from the connections between General Cummings and Lieutenant Hearn, and although less broadly through their lower ranked counterparts, Sergeant Croft and Private Red Valsen. It's in these interactions that The Naked and the Dead makes a statement about not only war, but society. Therefore, to be able to completely understand the publication, Cummings, Hearn, Croft, and Valsen has to be analyzed and understood for both their commendable and contemptible qualities and also analyzed within their interactions with each other. Once the characters of the characters are established, the battle between man and machine asserts itself, and Mailer's idea of the battle in society becomes clearer. Much of the truth the Naked and the Dead has come to be known for comes from Mailer's experience during World War II. Though he wished to be sent to battle in Europe, Mailer was instead sent into the South Pacific, specifically the Philippines. While there, Mailer did notice a few limited battle, and he tried to explain it in realistic detail from the novel. As the background for the conflict between machine and man, Mailer supplies the fictional island of Anopopei in the South Pacific during World War II. Anopopei itself takes on a sort of character all its own. "The island of Anopopei, that presented itself as a bright vision, proves to be a nightmare. It is the mysterious world in which men live, worki...