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HIS 352 - PROJECT 3 - Analytical Evaluation - US Vietnam War - Book Report/Review Example

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Realities, Fiction and Insights on T. O’Brien’s Novel O’Brien,William T. (2009). Things They Carried. N.Y., USA. Houghton Miffin Publishing Co. ‘History must not repeat itself’ people advise. Yet, nations after nations repeatedly wage wars against each other…
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HIS 352 - PROJECT 3 - Analytical Evaluation - US Vietnam War
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Download file to see previous pages Aside from destruction of the environment and properties, lives of loved ones are lost for which this is the main reason why memories of those who sacrificed their lives in the name of ‘love of country and freedom’, must be immortalized by those who survived. Here is a literary masterpiece written differently where the author attempts to present a combination of both realities of war through his actual experiences in the Vietnam War with some fiction components. “William Timothy O’ Brien was born in Austin, Minnesota on October 01, 1946” (Smith, 2005, pp.2- 4). He “graduated summa cum laude and a Phi Beta Kappa at Macalester College. He got drafted and was sent to Vietnam in 1968 where he served as an infantry man of the Fifth Battalion of the 46th Infantry wherein his service earned a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star of Valor and a Combat Infantry Badge” (Smith 2005, pp 4-5). “His novel, The Things They Carried won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger” (Kennedy 2013). The Summary This novel, as written by T. O’ Brien, wanted to draw the meaning of Vietnam War from the collection of personal short stories of selected soldiers from his platoon. At the onset, T. O’Brien introduced the soldiers of the Alpha Company headed by Lt. Jimmy Cross, others on the list were: Kiowa, Bob ‘Rat’ Kiley, Mitchell Sanders,Ted Lavender, Henry Dobbins, Norman Bowker, Dave Jensen, Azar, Bobby Jorgensen and Lee Strunk by also enumerating the tangible things they brought with them while in mission like letters, socks, bible, brass knuckles, sling-shot; each of which carried a memento or emotional attachment to every soldier. The making of this novel comprised the individual related personal stories of each major character as components like: Lt. Jimmy Cross, Kiowa, Bob ‘Rat’ Kiley, Henry Dobbins, Norman Bowker, Mitchell Sanders, Dave Jensen, Azar, Lee Strunk, and Bobby Jorgensen, among others; most of which were either narrated by T. O’Brien or the other protagonists. Personal stories that were never told before were narrated like the part of vignette “On the Rainy River” (O’Brien, 2009, p.37). It explained Tim’s convictions against being drafted to the military where he dropped everything and drove towards Canada to escape the draft. The character of Elroy Berdahl, the lodge owner who acted the father figure to O’Brien encouraged him along with the social pressures for the love of country and humiliation he might get from escaping that changed his mind to return home and participate in a war he never accepted. The “Love” vignette was a revelation of Jimmy Cross’ confession to O’Brien particularly of his wrapped up thoughts about Martha who never reciprocated his love. “The Man I killed” vignette described the emotional burden through guilt which O’Brien carried after killing a man. It also related how Mary Anne came to embrace the Vietnamese culture ultimately. “Speaking of Courage” vignette focused on Norman Bowker who could not get over of the war, particularly being a witness to Kiowa’s death. Finding no solace, comfort, he confesses that he could not find his normal life back so he hanged himself. Finally, O’Brien ended the book with “The Lives of the Dead” where he was described to be reminiscing deaths of his comrades and at the same time escaping momentarily the war memoirs by returning to his past with good ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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