A Marker On The Side Of The Boat Analysis

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Regret is a powerful emotion that has the ability to scar someone for the rest of their life. Moments of regret can come from relationships, self-made decisions and life changing events. The idea of regret also applies to “A Marker on the Side of the Boat” by Bao Ninh and “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien. Although these two literary pieces are very different in many ways, both authors describe the experience of the Vietnam War as a time of regretful decisions that negatively impacted people of both the American side and the Vietnamese side. Both authors tell a story about a character that recalls of flashbacks of the war, where they grieve over the past decisions that have affected them for the rest of their life. Firstly, both of the authors’ stories end with the protagonists surviving the war, but making them feel regretful and unworthy of living. O’Brien survives after being a soldier during the…show more content…
O’Brien tells the readers about him reflecting back twenty years ago, he wonders if running away from the war were just events that happened in another dimension, he pictures himself writing a letter to his parents: “I’m finishing up a letter to my Parents that tells what I'm about to do and why I'm doing it and how sorry I am that I’d never found the courage to talk to them about it”(O’Brien 80). Even twenty years after his running from the war, O’Brien still feels sorry for not finding the courage to tell his parents about his decision of escaping to Canada to start a new life. O’Brien presented his outlook that even if someone was not directly involved in the war, this event had impacted them indirectly, for instance, how a person’s reaction to the war can create regret for important friends and
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