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The stories tell about a group of soldiers engaged in wartime activities. Most of them are there since they have been compelled to do so. The narrator himself feels that the war is not worth sacrificing his life for. Although the book is filled with stories of the Vietnam War, but it is not a war story. It does not tell about the battles fought or the causes behind them. It is about search of answers by man about the logic behind wars and making sense of the brutality that one sees during war. The Vietnam War shattered the idea of American culture because of the enormity of evil celebrated during the entire period of war. The war and its consequences changed a soldier’s philosophy of life. The author states that a war story can never give a message on morality because of the grave sins that are committed by the soldiers in the battlefield –
“A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done” (O’ Brien, 65).
A war can never be a solution to anything and can never be moral and nor can the incidents related to a war be justified. The only thing that a war is capable of doing is cultivating hatred in the hearts that were innocent before joining the war. This emphasizes upon the uselessness of a war as long as a nation’s dreams are concerned. The dreams, which could have blossomed amongst the young people of a nation, finally end in facing the harsh truth of a war and fighting for a cause which could never be moral.
In the chapter Good Form, he drew the line between “happening-truth” and “story-truth”. He recounted a soldier he once killed near the village of My Khe. In this context the author portrays the real image of the war he witnessed. The author illustrates the frightful sight of a man he killed in the war. In his
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