Analysis Of Tim O Brien's In The Lake Of The Woods

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Toward the end of 1900s, American literature saw a wave of fresh context about the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien, one of the most popular authors of this new content, wrote a few of the popular Vietnam-themed novels. In the Lake of the Woods is among these novels about the Vietnam War, fictitiously depicting events that have changed people’s perspective on the history. Tim O’Brien expresses his rebuke in numerous ways, including how the war has changed modern warfare in that time. He also displays his views in an anti-war tone, speaking out against the war itself and the individual damage it has caused. In addition, he deals with resentment towards America and its handling of these events, specifically how America blames others and casts it away …show more content…

When first getting drafted, O’Brien falls as a coward to his country, and initially refuses to go, even debating escaping to Canada, but ultimately, as Owen Gilman Jr. puts it, he “opted to comply with his country’s demands” (Walden 224). Unfortunately, this allows O’Brien to build up everything he writes about and turns out against, one of them being that America wants to hide the true history. ‘Nam was a rebuke against America for their unnecessary response and action, and though America does realize that this is correct, it still wishes to forget it all, because surely the Land of the Free can’t be against what it was created for, can it? The answer is yes, because of that image that America wants to have. Coming out of World War II, America emerges as a superpower, and Vietnam destroys a large amount of that title. Kevin Hillstrom discusses in his own article that “many Americans did not realize the full extent of My Lai and its stench of horror. Many would try to develop excuses, including an explanation that it was normal for warfare” (Tim 128). Not only did America attempt to paint over its nasty past, it also expressed stern positions on the soldiers themselves. As David Grossman agrees, many soldiers upon their return were spat upon and rebuked for their action, though the public did not realize the extent of what the soldier had experienced and the fact that they were fighting for their own nation (Desensitization 252). In terms of My Lai, O’Brien greatly expresses his frustration at the lack of justice in respect to the lives lost at My Lai. As Hillstrom points out again, the perpetrators of My Lai were tried and all acquitted, triggering great anger in O’Brien, with him stating ‘everyone seems to be innocent nowadays, because there seems to be no justice for anyone’” (Tim

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