Where Have You Gone Charming Billy Summary

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Effects of War Tim O’Brien wrote the short story “Where Have You Gone, Charming Billy?” to help people apprehend what it was like to be in the war. Tim wanted his readers to understand how reclusive war was for the soldiers, they would sometimes envision being in a different location. He also wanted them to grasp how terrifying war was, they were always terrified of being heard. The last idea Tim wanted his readers to apprehend was how intense the war was. War was a very comfortless time, the soldiers had no family to talk to. Tim wrote that Paul Berlin imagined himself camping with his father, as well as that he was not at war. “He pretended that when he opened his eyes, his father would be there by the campfire and they would talk softly…show more content…
It was Paul Berlin’s first day as a soldier. He was very scared because it was his first day being unaccompanied at war. “He could not remember what they’d said about how to stop being afraid; they hadn’t given any lessons in courage-not that he could remember-and they hadn’t mentioned how Billy Boy Watkins would die of a heart attack” (O’Brien 200). Paul later giggled about what happened to Billy Boy Watkins to keep him from being scared and crying. War was also a very intense time. The soldiers had to be very careful as well as muted so that they wouldn’t be heard by the enemy. “Their leader knelt down, motioning with his hands, and one by one the other soldiers squatted in the shadows, vanishing in the primitive stealth of warfare” (O’Brien 198). The leaders would use hand signals to tell their soldiers what their next move was without being heard. Tim O’Brien wanted people to understand, and feel what it was like to be in the war, so he wrote the short story “Where Have You Gone, Charming Billy?” He wanted his readers to understand how war such a isolated time, also how anxious all of the soldiers were of being heard. One wrong move and they could be dead. Tim also wanted everyone to realize how intense war is, all the soldiers had to be as silent as possible to stay
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