Symbolism In The Thirteenth Valley By John M. Del Vecchio

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The book The Thirteenth Valley, by John M. Del Vecchio, follows the story of James Vincent Chelini and Alpha Company’s journey to the tree while going under hardship during the Vietnam War. Multiple soldiers from the Oh-Deuce are unfortunate enough to not make it to the tree, or die at the base of the tree. There are multiple symbolism scattered throughout the novel, such as the names of the boonierats, references to the bible, and what the journey to the tree means. The names that the boonierats possess gives an insight of what type of person they are and the impact they have in the book. The main character of the book, otherwise known as James Vincent Chelini, is given the nickname Cherry. The nickname Cherry is given to a new troop. After …show more content…

He made the distinction that his action was wrong. Throughout The Thirteenth Valley, Silvers acts as Cherry’s morality. In chapter eighteen, Silvers tries to comfort Cherry about killing a North Vietnamese soldier by telling Cherry that he saved multiple lives, however Cherry continues to feel guilt (Del Vecchio 240). The death of Silvers in chapter twenty-three did not affect Cherry until chapter twenty-five. Cherry had a vision of a figure that rose from the enemy trail and had control of the image. The image had the face of the North Vietnamese soldier he had killed, and shifted into Silvers. Cherry tormented the image by calling it Satan and calling himself God (Del Vecchio 372-373). In the vision, Cherry accepts the fact that Silvers is dead, and in return his morality changes. He no longer feels guilt for killing the enemy soldier, instead he embraces it. In chapter twenty-six, Egan gives Cherry a binocular to watch the enemy soldiers battle the ally soldiers. While observing the battle, Cherry counted the casualties of the North Vietnamese soldiers with enthusiasm (Del Vecchio 402). In chapter thirty, Cherry becomes a savage and is considered crazy amongst the other boonierats. During a battle between the enemy soldier and Alpha Company, Cherry gets caught up with fighting and acts like an animal: “Cherry bites his face, the nose crushes, Cherry bites, …show more content…

The journey to the tree is the journey to rebirth and hope. In the Holy Bible, a tree symbolizes hope and rebirth. In the second chapter of the Holy Bible, Adam and Eve eat from the the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Taylor-Weiss). As a result, God punishes Adam and Eve for disobeying by kicking them out from the Garden of Eden. Human life changed after God cursed creation. The human world was filled with peace and greatness, but was reborn with pain, conflict, and struggle (Cortez). In the final chapter of the Bible, the tree of life reappears with the task to heal and give hope (Taylor-Weiss). In chapter thirty-one, hope is shown when Egan is under the tree after he receives medical attention. Egan has a vision of him and Stephanie spending time together at the park. Egan hopes to see Stephanie again, which fuels his will to continue on living and leave Vietnam (Del Vecchio 548-549). The tree symbolizes hope again in chapter thirty-one. Brooks gives Alpha Company orders to blow up the tree on top of the knoll (Del Vecchio 551). After the tree was blown up, enemy soldiers surrounded Alpha Company and started to attack them. The enemy soldiers appeared out of nowhere and killed soldiers from Alpha Company, which resulted in the lost of hope amongst the boonierats (Del Vecchio 560). Rebirth is shown after Alpha Company leaves the knoll where the tree used to be. Cherry states that the soldiers who

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