Turnipseed Compare And Contrast Essay

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The Things They Carried written by Tim O’Brien and Baghdad Express written by Joel Turnipseed offer first hand accounts on two very different wars yet the inner workings and consequences of the two are eerily similar. They both emphasize the consequences in which men face who engaged in combat over seas. Both O’Brien and Turnipseed offer insight into not only the physical burdens in which these men carried throughout the war, but also the emotional baggage in which they could not escape. While also providing the role of isolation and fear played both during combat and the aftermath that it leaves after the wars have ended. While the writing styles of the two authors differ tremendously these two themes play a large part of the dialogue of …show more content…

It was out of these emotional burdens that led Bowker to hang himself out of the isolation he felt in his new post-war life, his mother saying, “Norman was a quite boy, I suppose he didn’t want to bother anybody”(O’Brien 154). The isolation that men felt and the fear that accompanies is a reoccurring theme, which can be seen throughout both novels. Turnipseed faced his own isolation during his time in the Gulf. Looked at as an outsider by his peers due to his interest in philosophy and holding intellectual discussions caused him to become not only a stranger in new lands, but also a stranger among his own company. Consequently it is out of isolation that creates fear and panic within soldiers. The isolation among ones peers while at war can be seen perfectly in O’Brien himself after being wounded and given desk duty, essentially separating him from his Alpha company. What came out of this separation was what O’Brien described as “anger, partly, but it was also a sense of pure and total loss: I didn’t fit anymore” (O’Brien 188). Much like Turnipseed, O’Brien had become an outsider looking in on his fellow soldiers, the same in which he had trekked through the bush with just weeks earlier before being shot. It is out of this fear as a result of isolation that consequently causes rash decisions to be made that these men would not likely make outside of the environment of war. Much like when Turnipseed pulls his M-16 rifle on his driver due to his unwillingness to slow down on the bumpy roads of the Saudi Arabia desert (Turnipseed 74). Or in the case of O’Brien’s seeking revenge on Jorgenson for essentially isolating him from the Alpha company due to his shoddy work as a medic (O’Brien 202). Isolation and the emotional burdens that come with war are more dangerous than any equipment that both

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