Tim O Brien: Rhetorical Analysis

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In this inconclusive, yet baffled war story, author Tim O'Brien tells us his ambivalent feelings towards the war in order to allow readers to feel what he felt during the war. The author begins the story with a short one sentence paragraph. “How do you generalize?” He uses this rhetorical question to bring a point across about how when telling a war story there is no real place to start and to end. In the second paragraph the author uses abstract words to show just how contradictory the war is, for example he states “War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead.” In the third paragraph author Tim O’Brien says “awful majesty” to explain combat during the war. He uses an oxymoron to emphasise the grotesque beauty…show more content…
The author begins the fourth paragraph by saying that peace and war opposites, he later states that “war is just another name for death.” We can conclude that peace is life. He says “that proximity to death brings with it a corresponding proximity to life.” This is paradoxical because how can something that kill you make you feel so alive. He then gives us his explanation “After a firefight, there is always the immense pleasure of aliveness.” Followed by another explanation “In the midst of evil want to be good man. You want decency. You want justice and courtesy and human concord, things you never knew you wanted.” He explains himself so he won't sound crazy; he says that after battle he always felt alive because knowing that he was so close to death made him want to be a better man. In the face of death he wanted to atone for his sins and try to live another day. Half way through the fourth paragraph author Tim O’Brien shares a stream of consciousness. In this stream of consciousness Tim O’Brien is sitting in his foxhole looking out on a river thinking about the next morning and whether he might die or possibly kill a man. In the fifth paragraph the author starts it by saying “Mitchell Sanders was right. For the common soldier, at least, the war has the feel- the spiritual texture-of a great ghostly fog, thick and
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