In the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien expresses to the reader why the men went to the war and continued to fight it. In the first chapter, “The Things They Carried,” O’Brien states “It was not courage, exactly; the object was not valor. Rather they were too frightened to be cowards.” The soldiers went to war not because they were courageous and ready to fight, but because they felt the need to go. They were afraid and coped with their lack of courage by telling stories (to themselves or aloud) and applied humor to the situations they encountered. The men who served in the Vietnam War were just barely men, some of them were just hitting the age twenty.
Yossarian is not a classic hero because, even though he performs heroic actions such as standing for the weak, having a bigger enemy, and overcoming a problem that tests his morals, ultimately he does not fit the stereotype of a hero, thus changing our perceptions of heroism. Catch-22 tells a story of an American bombardier who is at war. Yossarian isn’t the military man that goes to war and returns a war hero. Instead, he wants to get out of it because he hates the idea of war and people trying to kill him. He does anything to avoid his missions because he is simply scared of them.
"They carried their reputations. They carried the soldier's greatest fear, which was fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor" (21) In this passage the narrator mentions "the blush of dishonor" few times. "Blush of dishonor" is shame that follows every soldier, shame which brought them into this war, and shame which they try to hide constantly.
Author contradicts himself, since he implies that the same action can be both courageous, and cowardly. “They carried the common secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it could never be put down, it required perfect balance and perfect posture.”(p.21) This quote clearly describes how running, and hiding are the displays of cowardice. The instinct to run and hide in fear resides in every soldier, but they try their best to hide it, since it is the weakness, it is the flaw; it is cowardice. On the other hand, the following quote describes the same action, with a radically different connotation: “I would not swim away from my hometown and my country and my life. I
Doesn’t sound like a problem, riiiiiiiight? Wrong. It’s America, people, EVERYTHING is our business. Everything. So, we backed up the people who were claiming to be democratic (not to mention their military was hopeless, because American soldiers were actually thinking these people were joking when they said they had never seen a gunboat).
He tried to play the part just so he could get a job, but when his character is really broken down, it is easy to see what kind of a person he really is. The people were not sure that he was in Military, or anything else about him. The only evidence that lent to his story of coming from the military was how he went about his killing spree. He had a very militaristic way of doing things, but it was still never proved he came from the military. He simply was an out of place person in the wrong community for him.
It is not possible for us to understand the significance and impact of Vietnam War through one angle. There were numerous issues regarding veterans of the war. It was first war in history of USA when people of USA took an opposite stance on government foreign policy. Majority of the people were against the war. That is why, they did not any respect to the veterans who returned to the U.S after the war.
This guy wants to talk about it, but he can’t….” Bowker feels that he has lost a sense of purpose because of the war; he no longer has drive or ambition and this can be contributed to the horrific images and situations he experienced during the war. For O’ Brien, the war signified the death of his pride. He did not want to go to the war at first, but because of outside influences and the fear of possible consequences, he chose to go despite his beliefs. For these soldiers, death happens to more than just physical
Yet, the officer who rejected a faced off was subject to peers alienation that made the consent of the king little compassion which eventually forced him to hand in a resignation of commission. This means that the officer is convictable of disregard in appeal a clarification from the challenger. It is notable that the act of denying a confrontation is viewed as an allegedly cowardly behaviour among military officers regardless of their
Osewoudt’s reasons for killing are not heroic reasons, just a reason for him to continue living and to serve a purpose. “Dorbeck has made a new man of me, he thought”(97). Osewoudt wanted a meaning to his life and he believed his actions portrayed him as a soldier fighting for the right cause… “I had no skilled, no ambition. “It wasn’t until I met Dorbeck that I felt I wanted something “(204). Osewoudt’s uncle called him a coward because he believed it was his responsibility to protect his wife and mother, and instead, he just selfishly decided to look after himself(112).
Whether it’s physical or emotional pain, soldiers are bound to suffer. Unfortunately that is the costly price of war. According to Paul’s soft words, underneath all that muscle and bravery is a weak sensitive soul looking to escape the horrors of reality. Despite all the gruesome events that happened to him, Paul has always stayed true to himself. He’s nothing but an innocent civilian brainwashed and put in the face of
Knowledge of course, is always imperfect, but it seemed to me that when a nation goes to war it must have reasonable confidence in the justice and imperative of its cause. You can 't fix your mistakes. Once people are dead, you can 't make them undead” (38-39). Because O’Brien had witnessed so much death and destruction he knew how important it was to have all the facts first. He fought a war in Vietnam that he knew nothing about, all he knew was that, “Certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons” (38).