On The Rainy River Essay

910 Words4 Pages
“The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.” - Albert Einstein. Many people would like to believe that if they were ever faced with the choice to do what is right, or follow the crowd, they would choose to walk alone. This is easier said than done, and the short story “On The Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien is a great example of how significant events can shape who a person is. Due to the significance of the draft notice, Tim O’Brien’s perspective on his future, his surroundings, and even himself was altered drastically. The bright, successful future Tim had planned from himself was instantly changed changed because of one event in his life. His original plans for his future were to graduate from Macalester College, and go to Harvard on a full ride scholarship. Going to war - let alone a war he did not…show more content…
What was once a lukewarm stance on the war turned into a fiery, passionate hatred for the war and anyone who agreed with it. He began to loathe even the people in his hometown; he “held them responsible.” He described his state of mind as a kind of schizophrenia, and his entire life revolved around the draft notice. Even the description of his workplace turned into an ambience of war, calling the tools he used “guns,” and discussing how the odor never left his skin, just like the thought of killing someone at war would never leave him. Tim became ashamed of his country, unsure of the USS maddox, unsure of what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin and unsure about the people leading the war. “The only certainty that summer was moral confusion.” Tim was an educated man and because the war did not add up in his mind, it made him uncertain, and even ashamed of his country. Tim’s viewpoint of his surroundings turned uncertain, and completely war
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