The Warrior Ethos Book Report
The book The Warrior Ethos, by Steven Pressfield depicts the warrior’s mentality from ancient times to the present through a variety of different aspects and stories. In The Warrior Ethos, Pressfield states that men are not born with the certain qualities that make a good warrior, but instead are inculcated through years of training and indoctrination, stating at an early age. He goes on to show how different societies have been able to instill the same or very similar ideals throughout history while maintaining their own unique characteristics. Things have changed from ancient Sparta where parents would be enthusiastic about their children going to war, and even more elated upon learning that they died valiantly in battle. These days, most parents are a little more reserved when it comes to their children going to war, but the same support and values are still present; the desire for their children to fight with the utmost honor, and if necessary, die valiantly.
In ancient Sparta, young boys were taken away from their mothers at age 7, in order to undertake their society’s own test of manhood, called the agoge. Things may seem different in contemporary American culture but they are still inherently similar. For example, young men and women who join the US Military have to undergo their own “agoge” in the form of boot camp/basic training, the most rigorous of these being United States Marine Corps Boot Camp. It’s no coincidence that out of all of the branches of the US military, the Marine Corps’ values are most like the moral values of many ancient cultures, most notably the Spartans. Other things the Spartans valued, such as respect for elders and senior military individuals has also transferred over to our culture in the form of modern military respect and discipline.
There are two main types of morally and ethically bound societies; shame-based and guilt-based. Shame-based societies are...