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Where Have You Gone Charming Billy Critical Analysis

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Tim O’Brien’s uncommon ending sentence that have caught many people by surprise in the story, “Where have you gone, Charming Billy?” which was wrote as a historical fiction that revolves around the Vietnamese war. It leads you to O’Brien’s perspective on why war is bad. The story also shows how things are not okay, even after the war. O’Brien shows the realities of war through repetition of thoughts about fear, how soldiers deal with it, and the effect it has on their actions. The soldiers in the Vietnams war were there for different reasons, some soldiers were forced against their will and some were there by choice. Because of that, each soldier has their own thoughts about the war, O’Brien has interpreted that “The twenty –six men were very quiet: some of them excited by the adventure, some of them afraid”. This clearly shows how the men…show more content…
The case with Paul Berlin is that the war has caused him to reach a certain level of fear an example would be “Now as he stepped out of the paddy onto a narrow dirt path, now the fear was mostly the fear of being afraid.” because Paul didn’t want to end up like Billy, who died from a heart attack or how he joked about it at the end saying “Billy was scared to death” this is the Billy that Paul didn’t want to end up like, who died of fear. As mentioned before fear had a huge impact on Paul this is an example of him showing his fear “But he couldn’t stop giggling” it’s when he was remembering Billy, Paul has reached a stage of fear where he just giggled, which shows the extent of fear he developed. Additionally, O’Brien had added to the meaning of Paul’s fear by saying he giggled, which made a difference on how readers view the situation. O’Brien wants to show that war will scare people and leave a permanent damage for life like how Paul got scared of seeing Billy Watkins
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