On The Rainy River Critical Analysis

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How does a person’s response to and perspective of a crisis define him or her? In the event of a crisis, a person’s response and perspective of it can define him or her. In the novel, The Book Thief, written by Markus Zusak, and the short story, “On the Rainy River”, written by Tim O’Brien, the characters experience crisis all around them. Hans Hubermann in The Book Thief and Tim O’Brien in “On the Rainy River” have a hard time staying true to themselves in moments of crisis. They are torn between decisions on a blurred spectrum between right and wrong, and struggle to fight for what they believe in. This struggle defines them as individuals who are confused and lack confidence in their own judgment and values. In a crisis, people often lose sight of who they are because it is hard to stay true to ourselves…show more content…
In “On the Rainy River” Tim struggles to make a decision on whether he should fight for his country in the war or flee to Canada. Tim did not believe in the war. He was an innocent young man, freshly graduated from college with a naive view of the world. “Both my conscience and my instincts were telling me to make a break for it, just take off and run like hell and never stop.” (Page 3/Paragraph 8) This quote from the short story illustrates how Tim felt about leaving for the war. He knew that it was against his beliefs for him to leave. He eventually left for the war, still not believing in what he was fighting for which resulted in Tim losing sight of who he was. He allowed the pressures of society to influence him and morph his character into one resemblant of the popular belief of the time. In the story of The Book Thief, Hans Hubermann experiences a similar situation to Tim. Hans is a German man living in Nazi Germany who did not support Hitler. His son, Hans Junior, is a supporter of the Führer and they argue often about their beliefs. In the beginning of the novel, Hans and his
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