War Without Labels In Photograph And Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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War Without Labels “Not bloody stories, necessarily. Happy stories, too, and even a few peace stories” (33) makes a war what it is. Although war is labeled as a chaotic event among society, it actually has ups with its downs such as life itself, these positive feelings and values positioned in the negative whole can both be seen in Brendan Hoffman’s photograph and Tim O’Brien’s short story “Spin” from the book “The Things They Carried” by looking at soldiers’ behaviors. Brendan Hoffman’s photograph shows Ukraine soldiers after a ceasefire is announced; some of the soldiers are playing football and smiling while some of them still look quite nervous. The story “Spin” includes many vignettes in it some are negative while most of them reflect…show more content…
In the photo, soldiers are playing football because a ceasefire is announced, so the smile in soldiers’ faces can be considered as a way of celebration. Soldiers in the photo “knew where [they] stood” (31) and “knew the score” (31), in contrary, soldiers in the story don’t know if they are winning or losing, they don’t know what is happening outside and they don’t know when all this will end. They still are able to make the war sweet, because in addition to their childish attitudes, they had “the kind of boredom that caused stomach disorders” (33). In order to find another occupation, for instance, all soldiers were watching Norman Bowker and Henry Dobbins playing checkers which was “a ritual for them” (31). While soldiers in the photo was celebrating the ceasefire by playing football, soldiers in the story played checkers and chanted the rhymes to be occupied and to not get crazy due to boredom or not knowing what is happening at the

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