Not many of the boys who enter the Carolina Military Institute as freshmen leave the school as graduates. Set in South Carolina, this is a story seen through the eyes of Will McLean, a sensitive, yet rebellious young boy, who aspires to be an “institiute man”. He is an intelligent, honest, sarcastic and incredibly funny Irish, working class youth who doesn’t hide from the truth or his fears. Secondary characters Dante Pignetti, Mark Santoro, and Tradd St. Croix, come into Will’s life as he studies at the institute. Tradd is a fragile young man who chooses military training to please his father.
He is sensitive, loyal, and caring. Pig and Mark are the “big men” of the group. Will considers them his protectors because of their size and sense of loyality. 0n the surface, the institute apppears to be just another military school engaged in training fine southern men to defend the country during the Vietnam War. But behind the clean walls of the school and the stern faces of the upperclassmen is a horrifying secret. The Lords Of Dicipline is a book about four young men, Will, Pig, Mark and Tradd, who are trying to recieve an education in this twisted military school.
It’s a school where “the system” rules instead of the teachers. The “system” is run by upperclassmen, obsessed with upholding the school’s reputation for turning out the finest men the country has to offer to the war. Will watches as the boys in his class are dismantled and reassembled to become military men. He watches as boys are tortured because of their differences, as they are run out of the school, and even as they are driven to the threshold of sucide. The instutite seems to change everyone who remains there. It seems to harden them, to turn them into the very men they feared as freshmen.
Will fears that he too will be corrupt by the brutality that surrounds him. When Will, Tradd, Pig, and Mark discover that there is a secret oragnization called “The Ten” that upholds and enforces “The system” Will becomes determined to expose them and bring to justice the students who were their victims. The Lords of Discipline is a wonderfully chilling and realistic book with believable characters and a great story line. It strtesses the fact that one way of thinking isn’t always the right way and if you feel that something is wrong, you should stand up for what you believe in. I really liked this book and I reccomend it to everyone.
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