Tim O Brien Friends Analysis

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In Tim O'Brien's “Enemies” and “Friends”, O'Brien shows the effect the nature of war has on individuals and how war destroys and creates friendships. These two stories describe the relationship between two soldiers, Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen. In “Enemies”, friendship is broken over a fist fight about a stolen jackknife, which leaves Strunk with a broken nose and Jensen paranoid of whether or not Strunk’s revenge is coming. While in “Friends”, you see how the nature of war creates a bond of trust, even between people who first saw each other as enemies. Throughout “Enemies” and “Friends”, you see the development of trust between Jensen and Strunk. After the fist fight, while Jensen is acting out from paranoia, “the distinction between good guys and bad guys disappeared for…show more content…
People who were once enemies are now friends. Jensen and Strunk create a pact that if either one should get “a wheelchair wound” , the other will do whatever he can to find a way to end the pain. After this, Strunk encounters a fatal injury. Even after he begs not to be killed by Jensen, his injury ends up killing him anyway. Jensen is relieved that he will not have to end his pain. Even though there wasn’t a strong friendship between them, Jensen still couldn’t bring himself to hurt Strunk. When we are put in desperate situations, friendship can subconsciously be built, which makes putting harm to the other difficult. Throughout O’Brien’s work, he illustrates how the nature of war can change friendships and develop trust. While those involved are affected by war, each person handles their emotions differently. There is something ingrained in humans that even when people lose their sanity and their emotions go insane, most humans still feel the need to protect the other. People can go into a war as enemies, but when dangerous situations come, trust must be built, even if it is
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