This quote is Important because Tim O 'Brien is explaining how he felt like every eye in his town was on him.Felt embarrassed because he didn 't wanted to go to war.He could hear people screaming at him,Traitor ! he couldn 't endure the mockery or the disgrace or the patriotic ridicule .And right then he Submitted.He would go to war,he would killed,and maybe died because he was embarrassed not to. He didn´t wanted to runaway and look like he wasn´t brave man.He was just
Thesis: In the story, On the Rainy River, the author, Tim O’Brien demonstrates that an individual allows societal pressures and expectations to override their core values, morals, and beliefs; peer pressure forces individuals to put their beliefs aside so they can fit in with everyone else. The narrator, Tim O’Brien faces a similar situation when he get’s drafted for the Vietnam War. Receiving the draft letter takes a toll on his identity and as
In the story he explains that he wants to go to Canada because he does not want to be killed in the war and Canada is the safe place. The author mentions how he thinks it is unfair that he has to go fight in a war that he disagrees with. The other option the author faces is to go fight the war in Vietnam. He is very afraid to disappoint his family and friends because it would be obvious if he ran away and he would never be able to go back. He saw himself as a coward because he was embarrassed. This is evident when Mr. O’Brien says, “I would go to the war – I would kill and maybe die – because I was embarrassed not to,” (pg. 57.) In the end the author realized what he must do and went back home, so he could fight in the Vietnam
O’brien was against the Vietnam War before and after got drafted. As a student, O’brien took a stand against the war, and participated the anti-war protest. In the Chapter, “On The Rainy River,” O’brien is talking about how he thought about fleeing to Canada when he received the draft notice. O’brien had a full-ride scholarship for grad studies at Harvard when he received the draft notice and he could not believed it because he was to smart to go war. Furthermore, he “hated dirt and tents and mosquitoes” ( O’Brien 39), he was not a soldier materiel. He explained why he hated the war by saying that, “Certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons. I saw no unity of purpose, no consensus on matters of philosophy or history or law”( O’brien
O’Brien tells the readers about him reflecting back twenty years ago, he wonders if running away from the war were just events that happened in another dimension, he pictures himself writing a letter to his parents: “I’m finishing up a letter to my Parents that tells what I'm about to do and why I'm doing it and how sorry I am that I’d never found the courage to talk to them about it”(O’Brien 80). Even twenty years after his running from the war, O’Brien still feels sorry for not finding the courage to tell his parents about his decision of escaping to Canada to start a new life. O’Brien presented his outlook that even if someone was not directly involved in the war, this event had impacted them indirectly, for instance, how a person’s reaction to the war can create regret for important friends and
O’Brien uses emotional diction when describing his own personal events and concerns. O’Brien uses emotional words to help the reader better understand his inner feelings and the context throughout the chapter. His use of empathetic words really helps the reader put themselves in his shoes. He uses first person pronouns like “I felt paralyzed” and “as if I were hurtling down a huge black funnel” (41) to help the audience understand his inner feelings. He uses an empathetic use of alliteration by narrating his inner feelings described as “a sudden swell of helplessness.” (55) He also reveals to us that he feared embarrassment. Everybody who reads this knows the pressure and expectations for something and not being able to do it. “All those eyes on me-the town, the whole universe-and I couldn't risk the embarrassment.” (57) He feels the guilt and pressures of everybody around him. He feels as though if he does not to go war, he would be seen as not “masculine” or heroic. This helps his emotions stand out and be known
“That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future ... Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story” (36). The Things They Carried is a captivating novel that gives an inside look at the life of a soldier in the Vietnam War through the personal stories of the author, Tim O’Brien . Having been in the middle of war, O’Brien has personal experiences to back up his opinion about the war. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien reveals his view on war through telling his readers how the Vietnam War had no point, was emotionally devastating, and displaying that there is no purpose in war unless the soldiers know what they are fighting for.
Tim O’Brien’s uncommon ending sentence that have caught many people by surprise in the story, “Where have you gone, Charming Billy?” which was wrote as a historical fiction that revolves around the Vietnamese war. It leads you to O’Brien’s perspective on why war is bad. The story also shows how things are not okay, even after the war. O’Brien shows the realities of war through repetition of thoughts about fear, how soldiers deal with it, and the effect it has on their actions.
The men who served in the Vietnam War were just barely men, some of them were just hitting the age twenty. It was the draft which brought these boys into the fight involuntarily, to fight a war which they saw no meaning in. Many of these boys are the sons of veterans who fought in World War II, that came home to parades and were held up like heroes for fighting. Honorary men of the country and the soldiers fighting for Vietnam did not want to disappoint them. Thus, when O’Brien mentions in the quote, valor was not the point, he is trying to explain to the reader that the men went like it was a job they had to do, not a random act of courage that willed them to proceed. The draft pulled them into it. They did not want to dishonor their fathers, their country and society who told them fighting is honorable. In “The Things They Carried,” it was this ‘dishonor’ that had lead them to enter the war, it was “nothing
The metaphor of the pork product assembly line also extends to the military machine that drafts soldiers and sends them to war. In the story O 'Brien sets up paradoxical relationships that are revisited in various forms throughout the novel. One such paradox is that of courage and fear. He explains that he was "ashamed to be doing the right thing" in following his conscience and going to Canada. This metafictive means of imposing meaning on moral disorder and personal conflict is not the only storytelling O 'Brien does in this chapter. He actually tries to do the same thing in the middle of the story “On the Rainy River”, he "slipped out of his own skin" and watched himself (much like Elroy did) in his attempts to decide whether he should escape to Canada. At the end of the chapter, however, the importance of the physicality of "O 'Brien" reemerges. O 'Brien was literally paralyzed as he tried to force himself from the boat. So it shows that he had denied his own feelings and submitted to the stories of other people, like the older generation of veterans whom he despises, and to what he considered cowardice. At least until finally
In the short story, “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien, the author develops the idea that when an individual experiences a feeling of shame and humiliation, they often tend to neglect their desires and convictions to impress society. Tim, the narrator, starts off by describing his feeling of embarrassment, “I’ve had to live with it, feeling the shame”, before even elaborating on the cause of the feeling. Near the end of the story, he admits he does not run off and escape to Canada because it had nothing to do with his, “mortality...Embarrassment, that’s all it was”. The narrator experiences this feeling of intense shame and then he decides that he will be “a coward” and go to war. His personal desire is that he wishes to live a normal life and could never imagine himself charging at an enemy position nor ever taking aim at another human being. However, due to societal
Readers, especially those reading historical fiction, always crave to find believable stories and realistic characters. Tim O’Brien gives them this in “The Things They Carried.” Like war, people and their stories are often complex. This novel is a collection stories that include these complex characters and their in depth stories, both of which are essential when telling stories of the Vietnam War. Using techniques common to postmodern writers, literary techniques, and a collection of emotional truths, O’Brien helps readers understand a wide perspective from the war, which ultimately makes the fictional stories he tells more believable.
Soldiers going into the war often went in with immense pride that they were serving their country however in doing this they didn’t know they would lose their innocence and see the world in a new perspective when they returned. “My hometown was a conservative little spot on the prairie, a place where tradition counted” (O’Brien 38) shows where O’Brien lived in a place where things like the draft were taken very seriously. If you were selected people like the ones in O’Brien community would see this as a duty, and if you didn’t do this, you were a coward and would be disowned by everyone you knew. But those
At this point in the book O’Brien has decided he is going to the war. Not really for himself but for the people in his town. He doesn’t want the embarrassment of not going, he doesn 't want people looking down on him. He ultimately does it for everybody but himself. It comes from the story “On the rainy river”. He had very strong thoughts about just going to Canada and leaving everything behind but he can’t make himself do that, he finally decides on going to the war while crying on a boat with Elroy Berdahl.
In the book “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien admits to killing only one man during his war career, and relays it in the chapter “The Man I Killed”. In this chapter, O’Brien surveys the mangled body of the Vietnamese man he has just murdered, and desperately attempts to humanize the dead man as a coping method for his guilt. The chapter embodies a unique, and extremely detailed repetitive writing style which serves as a symbol of O’Brien’s scrutiny over his irrevocable action.