Ambiguity In Tim O Brien

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Ambiguity Lingers On Edith Wharton, who is an American author, states “The novelist must rely on what maybe called the illuminating incident to reveal and emphasize the inner meaning of each situation” (Wharton). Tim O’Brien uses illuminating moments to show how war makes guilt ambiguous. By examining three specific moments, the reader discovers how difficult it is to deal with the ambiguities of guilt. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross suffers from the ambiguity of guilt about Ted Lavender’s death. Tim O’Brien states, “Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war” (O’Brien 16). In this quote, Tim O’Brien explains that since Jimmy Cross blames himself about Ted Lavender’s death, he will always be in lieutenant’s head. Thus, the lieutenant will always feel the guilt. With this, Tim O’Brien makes the reader think that Jimmy Cross is the person to blame since he is the head of the group and he has to pay more attention to his plans. Having questions about his love, Martha, in his mind instead of being careful about his men is the reason of him feeling guilty that “the lieutenant’s in some deep hurt” (17). On the other hand, by describing the goods that soldiers carry comprehensively, Tim O’Brien indicates that it was very tough for Jimmy Cross to predict that Ted Lavender would get shot in a break after hours of walking through Vietnam with pounds of stuff on his back. This means while Jimmy Cross is trying to
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