On The Rainy River Literary Analysis

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One Day, One letter, One number. In “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien, Tim is forced to make a huge life changing choice. Tim has a good life as a small town Minnesota boy who has a full ride through Harvard and knows what he wants in life. But when Tim goes to the mailbox on June 17th 1968, there’s a letter waiting for him. A draft letter and his body goes numb.
A draft letter is a document telling boys ages 16 to 28 that they are going to be tested to be a soldier. If they pass all the health tests then they become a soldier for whatever war is going on at that time. If you had graduated college and were healthy then you were a perfect candidate for the war. The draft letter is for the Vietnam war.
The war had already been going on for 13 years
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Tim finally realized he could not leave his family behind and he was going to stay and fight. into the river. By this point he also knew that Elroy understood why Tim was there, by the little hints at supper and by taking him fishing almost to Canada. Tim didn’t jump no matter how much a part of him wanted too.
The biggest effect the letter had on Tim was his beliefs. He believed war was wrong, but most thought it was the right thing to do so they could stop the spread of communism .Tim also was scared of dying in war. It was the thing he feared most, He said, “Beyond all this, or at the very center, was the raw fact of terror. I did not want to die (1005).” Tim also thought war was cruel and it should not be an option, but what about what everyone would think of him? He had to go to war because he could never
Upset his family and country just like that. He thinks of himself as a coward because he went to war, against what he thought was morally right. Both options were very cowardly. It was either go to Canada and give up his life, or going against his beliefs and going to
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