Shame In The Rainy River

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War. War never changes. People will always march off at their nation’s behest to kill and be killed. To maim and be maimed. This is a truth embedded within the nature of mankind. And just as inevitable as war itself, are the effects that it has on its participants. Wars change the people that fight in them and one thing in particular causes people to behave differently and can ultimately change them. That one thing is shame. Shame is a powerful motivator for people in general, and when it is applied to war, the effects can be great. It can motivate people to go to war, and dictate what actions they take while they are there. O’Brien’s own personal experience in “On the Rainy River” shows how the fear of shame is a powerful motivator in
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