In the chapter “On The Rainy River”, O’Brien shows the obligation he feels through his embarrassment and fear of dishonor. During the chapter, he talks about recieving a draft notice for the Vietnam War. He goes back and forth about whether he should flee to Canada or fight. After spending a week on the border of Canada and the U.S., O’Brien decides he’s going to go to war. While deciding, he talks about his fears and also says “I would go to war - I would kill and maybe die - because I was embarrassed not to” (O’Brien 57).
He paid homage to those friends because some of them passed away fighting and O’Brien wanted to show what made them special, especially because the men who fought and died in Vietnam often came home disrespected and ignored. Every story helped to shine light on the men who lost the fight. O’Brien went into incredible detail about what exactly made each man in his platoon special, especially if there was a story to lay to rest. By sharing these stories, themes of homage and sacrifice were explored as O’Brien hoped to explain what their friendship was and why it was so
Imagine being drafted to move thousands of miles away from the life you love to fight a war you hated. This is the unfortunate reality for Tim O’Brien In The Things They Carried. O’Brien explains his experiences of war in Vietnam, what it took to get him there, and his relationships with the other men in his platoon. He portrays guilt and pride through storytelling and intertwines the two by showing how the men often feel guilty for the actions they pursue or decisions they make based on their pride. In the chapter “On the Rainy River”, pride drives O’Brien to make a decision that will change his life forever.
This guy wants to talk about it, but he can’t….” Bowker feels that he has lost a sense of purpose because of the war; he no longer has drive or ambition and this can be contributed to the horrific images and situations he experienced during the war. For O’ Brien, the war signified the death of his pride. He did not want to go to the war at first, but because of outside influences and the fear of possible consequences, he chose to go despite his beliefs. For these soldiers, death happens to more than just physical
Moreover, it seems that O'Brien tries to address our society's obsession with cold, unbiased facts by introducing the universal notion that a soldier's purpose is to die for their country. O'Brien continues to touch on finding the truth of a soldier's life in the next paragraph, where he utilizes an optimistic, almost joyful tone as he hones in on the "beauty" of Lemon's death. Oddly yet intentionally, O'Brien once again manipulates the emotions of the audience, this time through the use of irony. He takes what should normally be a somber moment and instead manages to emphasize how Lemon was a "handsome kid" with "sharp gray eyes" whose face was "brown and shining" when the bright sunlight he stepped into "lifted him up and sucked him into a tree full of moss and vines and white blossoms." Not only does he intentionally use words like "bright", "sunlight," and "shining" to elicit a hopeful, optimistic response from the audience, but he also seems to paint a mental picture of Lemon seemingly ascending into
I was above it” (1003). At this moment, O’Brien is going through remorse for himself. He does not think that he should be forced to fight in this war when he does not believe in what they are fighting for. O’Brien believes that the war was unjust because “certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons” (1002).O’Brien
However, this is not always true, as a character “Yeah, well…I don’t see no moral”…“There it is man”. (O’Brien 13). The former is a response to acknowledging a soldier’s death, and the latter is another character’s refusal to believe it was for no reason. One may feel lost without meaning and modify their story to have one. It’s typical to want a great story to tell, something that captures attention.
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).
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