Reader Response of “On the Rainy River” The short story “On the Rainy River” by Tim O 'Brien explains to the audience that all men are influenced to go into war, and that they should hide the fears and emotions that they may have along the journey. Throughout the short story the author explains his journey and opens up about his emotions when he was sent to war. Being the audience of this short story explains to you what every man must go through if they were to be sent to war.
After analyzing “On the Rainy Road” through an archetypal lens, it is clear that the symbols effectively indicate that going to war was a terrible decision. To start, Tim’s archetypal character showed that he was not emotionally ready to go to war. For instance, when Tim was trying to decide if he should go to war or run away to Canada, he had flashbacks described as follows, “I saw a seven-year-old boy in a white cowboy hat… I saw a sixteen-year-old kid decked out for his first prom, looking spiffy in a white tux,” (O’Brien). Tim imagined the colour white which is the archetypal colour for purity and innocence, showing he represents the divine child archetype.
At first Mr. O’ Brien wants to flee to Canada even though he knows that he won’t be able to see his family again or that he won’t be able to come back to the states. However, when he is only twenty yards away from the border, he can’t risk the embarrassment from his hometown and the whole universe, so he goes to the war. During the war, Mr. O’ Brien figures out that the only reason that any of his fellow soldiers are at the war was so their prestige wouldn’t go down. He goes so far as to say, “Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to… They died so as not to die of embarrassment.
Eventually some soldiers turned on each other and ended up dead. Officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted all treated each other badly, did not work as a team and was not prepared for what was to come. The enemy which is North Vietnam soldiers were rarely seen and not heard from. In We Were Soldiers, soldiers were portrayed as the typical American good boy soldier. There was a lot of trust, loyalty, respect, team work, organization, and collaboration.
The trip he took north to the Tip Top Lodge in “On The Rainy River,” mentally prepared him for making the decision of either going to war or running away to Canada. Elroy Berdahl, the owner of Tip Top Lodge, helped guide O’Brien to make a decision for himself. “It struck me that he must’ve planned it. I’ll never be certain, or course, but I think he meant to bring me up against the realities, to guide me across the river and to take me to the edge and to stand a kind of vigil as I chose a life for myself” (O’Brien 56). By going to Canada he feared resentment, embarrassment, and lost respect from those he cared about, this made the decision for him.
The societal and social pressures weighing on Tim’s mind were explained well in paragraph 28, “My conscience told me to run, but some irrational and powerful force was resisting, like a weight pushing me toward the war.” With Tim’s extreme isolation, it was no surprise that these pressures could manifest in unusual ways. Towards the end of the short, Tim imagines a situation in which his family, friends, strangers, and prominent social figures were yelling at him from the Canadian shore. The societal isolation influenced who was there and what they were yelling. No card burning protesters were there to cheer him on, possibly because a week without the media pushed those memories aside.
Slaughterhouse Five, or the Children Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut, is a science-fiction novel that tells a tale of a gawky World War II soldier. This story conveys important themes that are crucial to the plot of the story, one theme that is prevalent throughout the story is Warfare. Vonnegut horrific war experience inspires him to write a story on the magnitude of war. In the novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut writes a story about an outwardly anti-war hero named Billy Pilgrim. Kurt Vonnegut uses the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, to express his belief on war.
They didn’t know what to expect from fighting in the war, other than death. As said by Tim O’Brien, “[I felt] sorry for myself, thinking about the war and the pig factory and how my life seemed to be collapsing toward slaughter. I felt paralyzed” (41). Most of these men were trapped in a war they had not intention in fighting in, one that could alter their future.
Kreon does not believe Polyneices deserves a proper burial for Polyneices was not noble in Kreons eyes. Polyneices was fighting against Thebes and causing terror. He does not want to give him a proper burial, as shown in the quote “... Polynecius, who died as pitiably - Kreon has proclaimed that his body will stay unburied, no mourners, no tomb, no tears, a tasty meal for the vultures” (Sophocles 22). Antigone is distraught at the thought of her brother being left to be “a tasty meal for the vultures” and soon vows to bury him regardless of the law.
His father pushed him to graduate from school. Straight out of Harvard college, Adams accepted Worcester’s offer and began to teach Latin grammar to the young. John Adams was not satisfied with himself, while he worked as a teacher, so he set out looking for jobs that dealt with Law. John Adams became the apprentice of James Putnam, an impressive lawyer. As time passed, John Adams noticed he was wasting his time being the apprentice of James Putnam.
O’Brien describes his experience at the Tip Top Lodge as one that resolved an immense inner conflict he faced. When O’Brien received his draft card in the mail to fight in Vietnam, he immediately had to face the fact that he had been “drafted to fight a war that [he] hated” (O’Brien 38). In the face of danger and what he deemed as “moral confusion,” O’Brien suddenly decided that fleeing to Canada was the only way to avoid fighting in Vietnam. While driving north, O’Brien stopped at a fishing resort called the Tip Top Lodge and met Elroy Berdahl. While he refrained from asking obvious questions during O’Brien’s six-day-stay, Berdahl presumably understood O’Brien’s situation.
The book If I die in a Combat Zone Box Me Up and Ship Me Home by Tim O’Brien is a brillIant illustration of World War I and the impact it had on Americans. O’Brien expresses his opinion that World War I was not America’s war to fight through his depiction of the effect the war had on Americans physically and emotionally O’Brien showed readers that many Americans were not in favor of America’s entry into the war. Apart from the concept of isolationism, which basically means that America stays out of the affairs of other countries, Americans had other reasons to justify their convictions. Some Americans felt like the war was immoral and unnecessary and that the war was a game to politicians at the price of innocent lives being lost. O’Brien was one them, he showed
Josselyn Palma Ms.Fox LA (H), 3rd Period Character Analysis March 29, 2016 The Things that Changed Tim O’Brien In the novel “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien is a collection of short stories about a group of soldiers marching in the Vietnam war including the author himself in and after war. Each soldier is described by their stories and what each individual carried that kept them alive like the emotional burdens of memories, stories, fear and guilt.
The theme and his life experience are relatable because his experiences of war is what the theme is telling us readers, that war isn’t a friendly experience and sometimes a lie can better the truth of a war story. Within the article “Voicing Vietnam” it states, “ Tim O’Brien, who two decades earlier was a soldier in Vietnam. His account of what happened — amid the hamlets and forests of the Batangan Peninsula and in other areas of operation — to him and the other members of his platoon is punctuated by rueful, sometimes anguished reflections on the elusiveness of meaning and the fraught relationship between truth and invention.” Throughout the novel, there are different stories for each chapter that are all based upon being at war, however each story that is told are about different results that occur within the soldier's emotional state and also how each cope with their fellow soldier’s death. What O’Brien does to these stories that aren’t real, he continues to do small twists
Moreover, O’Brien’s miscellaneous word choice, and fragmented sentence structure play a huge role in reflecting his thoughts on the war. It helps readers understand the significance of the chapter, and connect us to the author on a deeper level. O’Brien’s short, and repetitive sentences mirror his personal struggles, and allow the audience to learn more about him. For example, the last sentence of “Spin” is, “..nothing to remember except the story.” (39)