War can hold a great deal of pain in the soldiers involved in a conflict, causing them to have existential crises in their future. Slaughterhouse-five is an account of Billy Pilgrim's thoughts and feelings as he travels back to his past experiences during war, to the present, then to his false reality world of aliens. In the years following the war Billy Pilgrim comes into contact with this fantasy world; that is all in his head, where he lives his best life in a zoo while being watched by aliens; Tralfamadorians. In this world he is at peace, making it a place he frequently goes back to, along with ‘time-traveling’ into his time spent in WWII. His memories at war are bringing up Billy's past which is only bringing back how Billy felt in those …show more content…
It is difficult for many people to talk about their past, especially war veterans. War veterans can feel as though they aren't entitled to share how they feel because of the stigma that the military has created around soldiers. “Americans don't like talking about trauma. We tend to twist it into heroism and move on.”(Caplan). Soldiers are meant to be perceived as strong both mentally and physically, but when it is talked about people tend to move on and ignore the problem. Any amount of time no matter how big or small spent in war will affect veterans. But for Billy Pilgrim it has affected him mentally and physically along with damaging his relationships with his family; specifically his daughter. While Billy continues to move on from his past in the war and settling down to start the new part of his life, his issues started to become apparent. He marries into a wealthy family purely for the benefits it will bring him; a nice job, a nice car, and a mediocre life. Billy and his wife, Valencia start their new life together and have a daughter, Barbra, who ends up resenting Billy. Billy begins to go on radio shows and tell everyone about his adventures on …show more content…
This is because of the poor treatment the army gives an active soldier, especially when they come to their superiors for help. The military limits the veterans ability to function normally after leaving that environment because of the lack of support they give. “Military ethos discourages soldiers from talking about their fear, frustration, helplessness, and uncertainty about the progress of the war.”(Caplan). Military ethos are a set of rules put into place by the army to keep their soldiers ‘in place’. These rules can make it hard for soldiers to feel their emotions and have a proper way of coping. Instead it makes soldiers believe that they can't leave or they will disgrace their country, that they can't speak up about how they feel or they are weak and overall a depiction that these soldiers are only supposed to be strong and can't be vulnerable. Although Billy and other soldiers had the resources to reach out for help in and out of war, they chose not to. This is because “for the men, it was unmanly. For the women, it proved that women should not be soldiers.”(Caplan). This stigma that soldiers of any race or gender should be strong and not show emotion or they will appear weak has caused a great deal of damage to people. It will only make it less likely that people will feel comfortable to get help to fix their illnesses either in or out of the war. Billy experienced
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Mental Health Of Soldiers According to FHEHealth “between 2001 and 2014, the number of veterans committing suicide rose above 20 per day”. Veterans are suffering mentally to the point of suicide because of post-traumatic stress disorder from the trauma they experienced. As O’Brien writes about his stories he explains the effects war has on soldiers. War causes soldiers to become numb to death and the trauma from the war leaves them with PTSD, in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien demonstrates that war ruins soldiers' mental health.
Not only are the soldiers affected by war, but regular civilians living at home are as well. Many people feel that soldiers show absolutely no emotion and are extraordinary people. However, in “Imagine Dying” written by Rick Loomis, the author proves his audience wrong when he states “here was a group of men, 37 in all, whom [he] viewed as courageous warriors, well-trained and well-equipped, and they seemed to be falling one by one right in front of him” (3). Although the majority of a population feel soldiers are extremely brave and are seldom afraid of their circumstances, this is untrue. Loomis spent a long period of time with a group of soldiers and came to the conclusion they are everyday, ordinary people simply fulfilling the role of
The way a person reacts to situations after being in a dangerous environment is slightly different from a person with a regular life and events. People within the war are affected greatly by how to react to certain situations. These men have a different mindset than most because their
For many years the only injury soldiers were believed to have could be seen with the naked eye; however, the real injuries are within the soldier’s mind. Most soldiers and victims of war suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), their own minds become danger zones as they recall horrific experiences when they dream, think, or merely close their eyes. The emotional pain stays with the victim years after the war is over. The physical pain that a soldier or victim endures can be healed with time and care, the emotional trauma they deal with stays with them for a lifetime. The psychological pain that the victims endure usually goes unnoticed until after the traumatic event.
Traumatic events have become business, not real cause for concern. In the article “The Things They Carried”, Richard Ford explains that “the possibility of death without warning strips the innocence from even the most idealistic and romantic of the men” (Ford 2). Ford backs up the evidence in the story, the young soldiers who still retain their childish imagination and dreams become exposed to the most harsh realities of war. They can’t cope and retain their innocence, instead becoming shells of their old selves. The soldier's loss of innocence and compassion is best shown through Ted Lavender’s
Soldiers, especially, witness death more than the average person. As a result, soldiers go “crazy” and start to act differently after witnessing all the violence and death of war. Soldiers have to endure the loss of loved ones
Interpreting the emotional effects and impacts of war on soldiers can be quite difficult. What most people do not understand is that post-traumatic stress disorder or commonly referred to as PTSD, is something that is lifelong and troublesome to treat. It was due to the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War, that this disorder was discovered. The National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study (NVVRS) approximates that 236,000 veterans currently have PTSD from the Vietnam War, an enormous long-term emotional and human cost of war (Vermetten). Tim O’Brien captures an astonishing painful and powerful realism through the emotions that the soldiers experience in “The Things They Carried”.
(Alexander, 15). No matter their fate of fighting in war, a soldier will be permanently changed by it. However if they are able to reach for help from others, then they could get their life back on track. Veterans need the support of others in order to cope with their mental
They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice.... Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to.” PG 21. This conveys that soldiers who struggled with post traumatic stress disorder faces emotional baggage which stays with them even after leaving the war.
In Jane Brody’s alarming article, “War Wounds That Time Alone Can’t Heal” Brody describes the intense and devastating pain some soldiers go through on a daily basis. These soldiers come home from a tragic time during war or, have vivid memories of unimaginable sufferings they began to experience in the battle field. As a result these soldiers suffer from, “emotional agony and self-destructive aftermath of moral injury…” (Brody). Moral injury has caused much emotional and physical pain for men and women from the war.
The True Weight of War “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, brings to light the psychological impact of what soldiers go through during times of war. We learn that the effects of traumatic events weigh heavier on the minds of men than all of the provisions and equipment they shouldered. Wartime truly tests the human body and and mind, to the point where some men return home completely destroyed. Some soldiers have been driven to the point of mentally altering reality in order to survive day to day. An indefinite number of men became numb to the deaths of their comrades, and yet secretly desired to die and bring a conclusion to their misery.
Title: Slaughterhouse-Five Author: Kurt Vonnegut Thesis: Throughout KVs SF, he describes in matter of fact way the psychological impact/effects of the devastation of war and death upon Billy Pilgrim and how he handles it. Through the exploration of Billy Pilgrim’s detached and indifferent thoughts, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five illustrates the coping mechanisms of a World War II veteran with post traumatic stress disorder.
Soldiers train rigorously, preparing for the departure of war. They sacrifice all that they have to fight for their country. As they return after the war, they are left with painful experiences and traumatizing memories, suffering from their inevitable conditions. However, the spouse, families and children back at home are suffering even more than soldiers.