Storytelling In Vietnam Essay

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Storytelling has been around for generations. Our ancestors used it to communicate with each other and create intimacy amongst each other. Today, they’re used in similar fashion. More often than not, people tell stories to communicate with each other and form connections. One may tell stories to a group of people to entertain them or educate them on a subject. Ultimately, this brings people closer together through both laughter and educational purposes. In Redeployment, storytelling serves multiple purposes. It educates those on the events soldiers experience in the field, it’s used to create moments of intimacy, and finally, it creates a sort of therapeutic release for the veterans to talk about what they saw and how they felt.
The stories
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I turned my attention to the chapter titled “In Vietnam They Had Whores”. In the beginning of the chapter, we see a conversation between an unnamed 19 year old soon to be deployed soldier, and his father, a former Vietnam veteran. Although the story doesn’t have much substance, I believe it is a great example because of how I related to it. As a military child myself, a lot of the stories conveyed to me through my father often have no meaning to me. They’re filled with military abbreviations and insignificant events, according to me of course. However, during these times, I feel extremely close to him. He gives unto me experiences that are not easy to talk about. I can imagine the main character feeling the same way. Our protagonist even mentions receiving a “tiny metal cross”, the same one his father carried in Vietnam. This small memento probably left an impact on him, as it has on me. The strongest example of the united nature this talk had on the main character was him relaying the story. He says, “We weren’t in Iraq long before I told Old Man my dad’s story.” The story and the moment obviously meant something to the main character for him to feel the need to tell the story to others. This feeling of closeness often makes people feel obligated to keep their story close to them, however, sometimes it has the opposite effect and people feel as if they must be
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