Monday, October 27, 2014

Me vs Tim O'Brien

If I was 19 years old in the 1970’s, and I got drafted into the war, I would enlist into the army. I would fight for and serve my country. I would not only be fighting for America, but I would fight for and protect the people I love. The people threatening America also threaten me and my loved ones, and I want to do something about that. By joining the army I can protect my family, and also get the full experience of being in the army.

By joining the army I can prevent terrorist attacks from harming my family, and America itself. I am doing America a favor by fighting for it, and protecting it. Joining the war, defending for what America stands for is one of the true meanings of patriotism. The army has a billion lives on the line they need to protect, and I would like to carry that burden. 

Each one of us carrying this burden protects each other’s brothers and sisters and family. We joined so that we won’t be the ones seeing our family suffer, and us not being able to put an end to their suffering. We joined to ensure the safety of our family, ensure that the threat itself stays where it originated from. To do these things, joining the army is a necessity.

Within this necessity awaits an experience, the experience of being in the army, to defend one another’s family. It’s the sort of bond that one another can make while serving in the war. Living through the chaos of the war, so that one can appreciate the normal civilized environment that they live in. then coming back from the war to open arms.
Tim O’Brien however, thought differently. “What If” he thought, “I move to Canada?” he thought about how life would be there, peaceful, quiet, and best of all no war. Tim also thought about how it would be back in America. People would point at him calling him a traitor. The very thought trouble Tim O'Brien.
\What also troubled him was the fact that he was randomly picked for the war. Tim didn't think that it was fair that he had to fighting war, yet he wasn't even responsible for starting it. “Everyone else should fight this war; let the people who read the papers fight the war. I’m too good, too smart, too compassionate, too everything for this war.”
The pure thought of this war annoyed Tim. “What was the purpose behind this war? Why doesn't the government give us a straight answer about the war? What kind of war was it? Was it a civil war?” He had a lot of unanswered questions.
These questions soon haunted his dreams. He ended up dreaming what if he moved to Canada. People pointed at him screamed and called him names; the most common name was traitor. He feared the war, but he also feared exile. He was afraid of leaving everything that mattered to him.

Since everything mattered to him, he decided it was best to join the war. He wanted everyone to remember him in a good light. He loved everything in his life, the people always gossiping on the corner sitting on the steps of the cafe. He loved his friends his family, and his life, they all mattered to him. The fear of losing respect from everyone was too great for him, so he decided it was best to join the war.
When I first get the notice I would have already decided I was joining the war. It was simply a calling, a calling to join something bigger. Yet when Tim got his notice, he had an internal war within himself.

“Should I save myself and move to Canada? Or should I do what’s legally right and join the army?”
I think it would be best to join the army for the greater good. I would be doing my family and America itself a favor by joining in the army. Tim O'Brien however, thought about canoeing into Canada from a river. He figured that it was simply foolish to fight a needless war.
Joining the army, I say will give me a good experience of what it’s like to be in a war. It will give me the necessary skills in life to better myself as a person. Other people and how they think of Tim O'Brien if he left for Canada haunted Tim. Ultimately he feared exile from the people and things in his life that he loved.
In the end we both joined the army.

We joined for different reasons: I joined for patriotism, while Tim joined to avoid exile and criticism. We both decided in end to protect what was dear to us. We both in the end wound up serving our country.

War movies, do they actually tell the truth about war?

War stories and war movies are talking about the same things, but differ when it comes to first hand perspective of war. I will be examining the war movie Three Kings, starring Ice Cube, Matt Damon, and George Clooney, and I will be comparing this to the writer Tim O'Brien, and his war story The Things They Carried. In the beginning of the Three kings you hear the sound of marching, in which according to Tim O'Brien you do a lot of marching in the war, he portrays the marching as a mindless activity.  These soldiers sneak out of a camp in order to find a secret location filled with Huddan's gold. They then start to have an internal conflict when they come to confiscate Huddans gold, and come across a family about to be executed. In the end of this conflict they decide to help the family.

The part that is most critical is the ending, it determines the moral, and it determines if it's a true war story or not by the way it ends. According to Tim O'Brien the moral of a war story isn't supposed to be easily understandable. The ending isn't supposed to be uplifting, and not everyone (or no one) gets what they want in the end. Three Kings, I would say is not a true war story because they simply go against everything that Tim O'Brien s way of a true war story. In the end, the soldiers don't get in trouble for sneaking out and going AWOL. They, unrealistically give away all the gold, and the people they rescued go off to live their lives happily. This didn't portray a true war story to me at all.

The Price of Freedom Test

Monday, October 20, 2014

Vietnam Draft

If I was elected for the war I would flee to Canada for a better life instead of going out to fight. In Canada I would try and raise a family just like every other citizen and play hockey because its one of my favorite sports and its very popular in Canada. If you don't want to fight in a war i don't think you should have to then.

What I would do

If my number was pulled for the draft I would go and fight the war because I believe it is one of my duties to defend my country and people who live in the United states.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Three Kings

Three Kings
In this movie, four American Soldiers- Archie Gates, Troy Barlow, Chief Elgin, and Conrad Vig- separate from the troops to rescue Kuwait gold bullion from Iraqi bunkers. While on their journey, the four men encounter tortured Iraqi prisoners held by Saddam's loyalist soldiers. The soldiers break the cease-fire agreement to rescue the prisoners and bring them to a refugee camp along the Iranian border. Tim O'Brien would not consider this film as a true war story because it follows too much of a clean cut plot. this movie is like most Hollywood films where the ending is always a feel good moment.

Three False Kings

I enjoy the ideals of hope & selflessness the film presents, although i feel like it can not be a true war story because of that, The film attempts to show America as being the hero at the end of the day. In real life I believe most soldiers would leave with the gold, based on the greed & evil there is in the world today. I believe that maybe just maybe at least one of the soldiers would understand and argue to help them but as perceived in the movie, it was the other way around. How 3 out of the 4 soldiers were willing to help the refuges. As Mark Wahlberg says in the movie "just go with the plan" America, Wars & the world in general has been corrupt because they listened to others and not they're hearts

Is Three Kings a true war story?

The movie Three Kings, its uncertain whether it is a true war story or not. It is torn between the two. It is a true war story because it is very obscene. They curse, they drink, they shoot people, there's blood, there's evil, etc. For example in the beginning when they first make a plan to get the gold, they plan to just use the rebels and get the gold. They don't want to have anything to do with the rebels, they just want to get in, get the gold then get out. That's very obscene and cold since the people are suffering and dying. And they don't want to help them what so ever. Another reason its a true war story is that its not realistic. It doesn't seem possible that it would be that easy to get 23 million dollars worth of gold. They just walked in and found it almost right away. Also the fact that the rebels have all those expensive cars in the middle of nowhere. That's not realistic. Another reason its a true war story is because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Like when the lady got shot and you saw all the blood. Or when you saw the inside of Troy. My last reason its true, is that it captures paradoxes of war. For example, war is fun, war is horrible. In the beginning they party and have fun. But by the end they are suffering. At the same time this story seems like a true one there are some reasons its false. For example the movie has a nice ending. But according to O'Brien a true war story never ends. In conclusion the movie Three Kings is torn in-between a true and false war story.

Three Kings -- True War Story?

I would say Three Kings is a true war story. But by O’Briens definition….? Not necessarily. There are elements of O’Brien’s definition present in the film though. Like when Conrad dies. Usually in non-drama movies, everything is alright in the end. All the characters live and go on to live happy lives. But Conrad’s death goes against this typical Hollywood movie format. This movie also enforces the idea of building bonds you might not have. An example of this is the relationship between Amir and the American soldiers towards the end of the movie. But this relationship can also be seen as a contradiction of O’Brien’s beliefs. O’Brien’s definition of a true war story speaks of a lack of morality, which isn’t shown when the American soldiers decide not to just take the gold and run but actually stay and help the Iraqi prisoners. I think this shows that there can’t be a certain formula for a true war story as everything can be seen in different ways.

All Quiet on the Homefront

All Quiet on the Homefront is a 1930's war film on World War 1 that I watched freshman year.  It starts with a teacher of a high school class of boys who are about to graduate at age 18, the age they could enlist in the army.  HE gives a riveting speech to encourage the boys to go to the army and "save the Fatherland." The boys get very excited and enlist as soon as they can.  To their surprise the war is not what they had expected.  They saw hundreds of men dying and some of which were their friends.  This shows signs of being a true war story because this is the point where the boys innocence is taken from them.  Towards the end the main character returns home for a weekend and hears his former teacher giving the same speech to another group and yells about how bad the war is and then leaves home to go back into war.  The movie ends with the same young man almost getting stabbed by a soldier who he ends up killing, then noticing he dropped some kind of coin, and getting shot and killed when he reaches for it.  This movie shows that there is no uplifting ending to a war, after his all best friends and his own life are taken.

Is Three Kings a true war story?

In the movie, Three Kings, elements of a true war story are present throughout the entire movie. Many of the elements that O'Brien state are in the movie. For example, paradox's are present throughout the entire movie. Many of the soldiers in the Iraqi War had never seen combat, so that part of the war was very boring, but when these soldiers did see combat, it was intense, thrilling, exciting, ext. O'Brien states that a true war story makes your stomach believe, and Three Kings makes your stomach believe. The way the movie was directed shows not only the effects of being shot, but also the aftermath it can have on you. Overall, Three Kings is a true war story, and fits Tim O' Brien's description of a true war story.


Three Kings is in fact a true war story for many reasons. The movie is unbelievable which is one of the characteristics of a true war story. The story started off with a party and the soldiers having fun celebrating a victory. When you usually think of war you don't see parties. Also, there was so much gold just lying around in the country. There wouldn't just be gold lying around because if there was there would be more people going after it. Another characteristic of a true war story is that it makes you uncomfortable. Many parts in the move mad me uncomfortable, there was the killing of the man's wife, and Troy being tortured and forced to drink oil. These scenes in the movie showed how things went down in that country. The story also was very obscene and evil. They used so much foul language, and had sex with women during the movie. It gave realistic details and scenes and showed many examples of Tim O'Brein characteristics of a true war story, that's why its an true war story.

True war story?

       I don't believe that "Three kings"  was a true war story. What made this a false war story was how the 3 soldiers survived in the desert for so long without and food, water, or places to sleep at night. The soldiers snuck out of their campus to abort their missions from the U.S military to search for gold. Also how the 3 soldiers did all that fighting, searching, and almost giving up their own lives just to leave empty handed. I feel as though soldiers who actually fight in those wars go to handle business and not get into any extra curricular activities like trying to steal gold.

Is Three Kings a True War Story or not?

Three Kings is a true war story and it is not a true war story. It is a true war story because it is unsettling and unbelievable at some points. For example, when Troy Barlow gets shot in the chest and the movie shows you where the bullet went and the other soldiers saving him. It also makes you feel uncomfortable because there are parts when innocent people get tortured and killed. There is a point where Troy gets taken prisoner and is forced to drink oil. However, it isn’t a true war story because it has a happy ending with a lot of people getting to live a happy life. Also in the beginning, the soldiers seemed to not know what to do. Then a little later on, the American soldiers went to the rebels camp and there was music playing and the rebels were having a good time.

Based On A False Story

Three Kings is not a true war story. According to Tim O’Brien a true war story has no morals, this movie shows how the moral of this story was money is less important than people’s lives. The American soldiers gave up their gold for the refugees to cross the border. A true war story doesn't have morals. Also, Tim O’Brien says a true war story isn't uplifting or has a happy ending. The end of this movie showed the soldiers living normal happy lives after they were let go. In a true war story a soldier would be traumatized from the all the death they experienced. The soldiers at the end looked like the war didn't affect them at all, the stories didn't stick with them.

Three Kings a True War story

Three Kings is half a true war story and half not.  Three Kings shows good information for things in war like the brutality, the stomach turning affect, and also shows how war builds brotherhoods with the man fighting next to you. Three Kings also shows some of the unrealistic things in war like four soldiers finding a map in a enemy soldier's butt hole and following the quest for the treasuring they think is hidden somewhere on the map. Three kings shows some values of a true war story while also making up other details to make the story sound much more interesting.

Is 3 Kings a true war story or not?

I don't think that the 3 Kings is a true war story because even though it follows some of the characteristics of a true war story, there are a couple that don't follow and I think that those stick out. One of Tim O'Briens characteristics is that the war does not end. In the movie, the war does seem to end. There is justice for the refugees, and the soldiers get honorable discharged and go on with their lives. Another example of why 3 Kings is not a true war story is because when you're finished with a true war story, you shouldn't feel happy or excited or inspired. At the end of 3 Kings, I felt really nice because everything turned out okay. That shows that the 3 Kings is not a true war story.

Powell Doctrine

In my doctrine I propose that we execute a mass bombing on ISIS.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

War can make you and break you

If I were a 19 year old in 1970 I would stay in the united states and burn my pass draft card and protest because I wouldn't run to Canada for the fact that I have no family there and I would have to start from the ground to work my way up to live with no help, I also couldn't leave my family that would be the hardest thing for me. In listing in the army would not be a choice for me I would rather be put in jail before I fight in a war I could careless about. My biggest question is why are we fighting another country instead of trying to solve any conflict we may have.

My choice from Tim O'Brien is different because he would rather stay and fight rather than take his chances in jail he has more bravery than I do because I would be worried about losing a body part or getting hurt period.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Going to War

If i were a 18 year old in 1970 and I was drafted to fight my country I would go to war. I would do this because I feel obligated to do so because it's Illegal not to go. I feel like fleeing to Canada is being disloyal to America as a whole. Also, I would go to war because I will feel like a better citizen. Going to war may also be a good experience for me because I would be able to build bonds with people that had to go through similar things as me as a teenager.

What Would I Do?

If I was in the shoes of an 18-year-old in 1970 and I got a notice that I was drafted I would probably enlist in the army. I would do this because that's what they want me to do I guess. I don't want to escape to Canada and leave my friends and family behind. If I protested they would probably come and arrest me, which would probably end up in me going to the war anyway so. I would enlist and do my best and if I died, I died.

A Brave Coward...

If I were to be drafted to the Vietnam War in 1968, I would not risk my life to fight for something I know little about. I would burn my draft card and join a protest. I wouldn't want to leave to Canada because I wouldn't want to leave my family behind, and I would like to stand up for the people who is scared of joining the war but feel as though they have to. To the people who believe in the war, I might be a coward. I agree with Tim O'Brien when he talks about them. He says the people who support the war should fight in it with their families, rather than having us fight. To him, his life was over. He talked about how he rode around aimlessly, feeling sorry for himself. I think that'll bring more shame to my family than anything. I wouldn't cry because they can't make me join the war. I'd rather stand up for myself, than join with the rest of the group who's playing follow the leader.


If I were drafted for the Vietnam war,I would burn my draft card and protest.My parents wouldn't judge me for dodging the draft unlike Tim O'Brien parents in The Things They Carried and Oak park is a very liberal town so I do not thing to many people would judge me for it.I think wouldn't just protest against the Vietnam war,I would also be a left wing activist of some kind.Maybe join the SDS(Students for Democratic Society) or some organization like that.I would do this because Vietnam war is Imperialist and I do not feel that It would be right to fight for a dictator.I would try and fight for the Rights of African Americans and other oppressed peoples with in the united states.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What would I do?

If I was drafted into the war in 1970 and was not allowed to get out of it through concussions objector I would go to Canada. The reason of this is because in my situation my parents are not really patriots and would support me for what ever I do so I don't get any pressure from them to join the army and also I think Canada will be fun and just as much of an experience as the war would be in the sense that I will have to find a place to live and a means of income so I can survive. O'Brien had a lot of stories about the war but also witnessed horrible things and I believe that I would have a lot of stories from Canada and have to witness less horrible things.

I Would be Coward and Fight.

If I were a 19 year old in 1970 and just received my notice that I had been drafted into the Vietnam War, I would fight in the war. I would not be able to leave my family and friends and not know if I could ever go back home to them. Knowing this I would either ed up fighting in the Vietnam war, like Tim O'Brien, or protesting. However, I agree with Tim O'Brien, that fighting in the war will make me a coward. Instead of protesting against fighting I am going to fight in a war that I don't want to really be fighting in. Also going to war would give me a good chance of getting to see the people who I care about again; where running to Canada wouldn't.

Cultural analysis

 "His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, his other eye was a star-shaped hole, his eyebrows were thin and arched like a woman's, his nose was undamaged, there was a slight tear at the lobe of one ear, his clean black hair was swept upward into a cowlick at the rear of the skull, his forehead was lightly freckled.." (118) 
This quote was important because it shows how much imagery was sketched into his head. He couldn't escape what his very own eyes had seen and what had traumatized him pretty much for the rest of his life. O'brien was extremely detailed in his explanation which was good because it gets readers more interested in reading the rest of the book. It caught my attention pretty quickly. 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Draft Day

If I were an 18-year-old in 1970 and I received my notice that I have been drafted to the Vietnam war, I would stay in the U.S. and protest.  I would feel the same anger and confusion and dizziness Tim O'Brien wrote about, except more anger and less of the other emotions.  I wouldn't be able to leave my family and friends for war.  My family wouldn't let me go, especially my mom.  She'd sooner escape to Canada with me, but I don't think I could handle being the reason my family had to start a new life in Canada, so I'd stay home.  Like O'Brien, initially I would want to leave for Canada but unlike him, I'd talk to my family about it.  My town wouldn't detest me for not going to war and neither would my family.  I would have trouble deciding between staying home or going to Canada, but like O'Brien's experience in the lodge, I'd have some sort of epiphany to push me to my decision.

My Escape

If i were a 19 year old in 1970 and received my notice that I had been drafted into the Vietnam War, I would be brave and and escape to Canada. I would go to Canada and leave my family because either way I would have to leave them, this way my family knows I'm alive and safe. Even though i would have pressure form my family and the community to go to war, it is my decision to flee to Canada. O'Brien didn't decide to go to go Canada because he was too afraid of other peoples opinion.
If i were a 19 year old  in 1970 and just received my notice i would consider this as an option. I really would not want to go to war i would try to avoid it at all cost. I would try to skip states or ditch the war. My reasons for not wanting to go to war is i think war is pointless and a death trap.

Fight for their country?

 If i was a 19 year old in 1970 and just received my notice that i had been drafted into the Vietnam War, I would escape to Canada. I was told to stand up for what i believe in when I was a kid. I don't see why i would fight for another country if it had nothing to do with me. Like O'brien said it would be more brave if you wold go to Canada. The reason why is that you are basically standing up to the U.S government instead of follow them. If you don't think something is right don't just go threw with it.

I would be highly pissed. How would they send troops to a war that had nothing to deal with us. So i would be brave and escape to Canada.
Answer: Enlist in the army.

The reason why I would enlist in the army is because I would want to go to the army..........

Unlike Tim O'brien i think that im fit to go to the war.
I would feel that I am lucky if i got picked for the war.

Deshon Taylor

Am I Cowardly?

In The Things They Carried Tim O'Brien was drafted in the war. This made me think of what I would do if I was a 19 year old in 1970. I think I would just run, the pressure and fear would be too much for me to handle. Tim O'Brien mentions the pressure and stress he experienced when he initially got the letter. It's basically a letter leading you to my your death. So many American soldiers died in this war. On the other hand, there is also the paranoia of being caught, so you there's no way you wouldn't be scared. O'Brien talks about how he is embarrassed because he is leaving his family. If it was me, I would tell my family the minute I got the letter and then they could meet me in Canada. In this story, O'Brien has trouble crossing into Canada, he thinks about it too much, he was scared of it in a way. The boarder of Canada would mean something to me, it would symbolize my peace. I wouldn't have to worry about war. Some may think that this makes you a coward. When you run away to Canada you are standing up to the government in a sense. It shows that you are not willing to take part in the war. Fleeing to Canada doesn't make you a coward, it makes you look brave.

I would be a fool; I'd Fight in the war

If I were a 19 year old in 1970 and just received my notice that I had been drafted into the Vietnam War, I would fight in the war. I wouldn't have the resources or the materials to leave the Country. It's to much to leave the country and not know if I would ever come home and see my family again. That would devastate me which would led to me making the same decision as Tim O'Brien and go to Vietnam. I also agree with Tim O'Brien that going to the war makes me a coward. It shows that I'm afraid of the U.S government and instead of standing up for what I believe in I would be going to fight for a country that's making a bad decision. Tim O'Brien and I also don't want to leave because I would be leaving my family and I don't know what to do without them. Going to Canada though there's a chance I would never bee allowed back. So going to the war would at least let me see my family in years to come.
If I were an 18-year-old in 1970 who had just been drafted to fight in the Vietnam War I would escape to Canada.  By escaping to Canada I wouldn't have to fight in the war and I wouldn't have to protest against it, which wouldn't do much help anyways.  I know that I may never see my family and friends again, but it's better than dying in the war.  I can make new friends in Canada and if I'm lucky they will eventually allow me back in the United States.

O'Brien decided to enlist in the army and serve in the war.  He didn't want to escape to Canada because he thought people would think bad about him and he didn't want to burn his draft card and protest either.  He thought that was being a coward, but people called him a coward anyways for going into the war without trying to fight his way out of it.  He claimed he wouldn't be brave but the fact that he went into the war when everyone else was too scared to just proves how brave of a person he was.

What Would I Do?

If I were to be drafted into the Vietnam War I would probably just go to war because you could avoid being arrested, you would have to leave your family behind for awhile but there was a possibility you could come back and after you served your schooling would be free under the GI code. Tim O'Brien was really scared and I would be scared too but avoiding the war would just be stressful and could end really really badly. I wouldn't go to extreme measures to hurt my self or flee to Canada. There was a strong chance you would never be able to see your family again. So basically I would just go, serve my time and see what happens.

Who is the Real Coward

If I were a 19 year old boy in 1970 and I just received my draft notice, I would enlist in the military. I wouldn't run because that would dissapoint my family and friends and they would view me as a coward. I would also want to fight against the VC and support the struggling military win the war. I would obviously be afraid of dying but i would rather die a hero in Nam rather than getting sent to prison for being caught sneaking into Canada and fleeing my notice.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Fights Over

O'Brien writes

When we reached the jeep, Kathleen turned and glanced out at the field."That old man,"she said, "is he mad at you or something?"
"I hope not"
"He looks mad"
"No," I said."All that's finished." (179)

War is when two countries or more fight for there believes and what they think is right.  Being in the middle of a war is one of the most terrifying things anyone could ever be in, being in a life or death situation is the worst feeling ever it could really change people and make them be appreciative of the things they have and make you realize that the things that has happened could have been you so that makes you think twice about life and things that has went on in your life.

The Mathematician

O'Brien says,
He was not a fighter. His health was poor, his body small and frail. He liked books. He wanted someday to be a teacher of mathematics. At night, lying on his mat, he could not picture himself doing the brave things his father had done, or his uncles, or the heroes of the stories. (119)
In this quote O'Brien was talking about the man he killed, he was giving him a life besides war. When people think about war they just think about two countries fighting and people dying. People don't think that someone killed them and that it haunts them. People forget that everyone fighting in the war has a life besides the war itself.

How To Be A Real Soldier

O'Brien writes,

The ribbons looked good on the uniform in his closet...he was proud of all of them...especially the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, because it meant he had been there as a real soldier and had done all the things soldiers do. (135)

I feel like in this section, O'Brien shows not only what war is really like but also what life is like. He shows that in war (and life), you often feel as though you have to live up too a certain expectation and achieve certain things. And if you don't, you're not fulfilling your true duty. You're not doing what a "real" soldier should do. This mentality is also highlighted in "The Dentist" where O'Brien writes "He had an opinion of himself, I think, that was too high for his own good. Or maybe it was the reverse. Maybe it was a low opinion that he kept trying to erase."

Nothing Won Or Lost

O'Brien states,

By daylight they took sniper fire, at night they were mortared, but it was not the battle, it was just the endless march, village to village, without purpose, nothing won or lost. they marched for the sake of the march. (14)

O'Brien is showing us what it's it's like going through the constant bombardment from the enemy, not knowing when the march will end and not even having a purpose anymore, just marching for the march. They are doing what they are told and they cant do anything about it unless they are wounded or killed. this goes to show how war actually is and how at times it may seem like nothing is being won or lost.

Life Reflection

O'Brien writes,

What he should've done, he told himself, was follow his first impulse. In the late afternoon yesterday, when they reached the night coordinates, he should've taken one look and headed for higher ground. No excuses. (pg161)

This quote shows how luck is not always on your side and in a true story you are not always lucky and bad things do happen. Some times  things could have been batter but in real stories people don't always have full control over their future and even if they have control they may not know the outcome. O'Brien says that war doesn't leave you with a uplifting feeling and when something like this happens it makes the reader feel sad because the death was preventable but anyways he died.

Contagoious Death

O'Brien writes,

He would've talked about this, and how he grabbed Kiowa by the boot and tried to pull him out. He pulled hard but Kiowa was gone, and then he suddenly felt himself going too. The shit was in his nose and eyes. There  were flares and mortar rounds, and the stink everywhere- it was inside him, in his lungs- and he could no longer tolerate it.(143)

O'Brien states that war was unpredictable and could get serious at any time and to be in the middle of war feels like hell. Many people he knew died and most of the troops there often didn't take war serious and played around a lot. He also goes into explain how war can change anyone and most likely everyone, when they try to save Kiowa from the field that the man who tried to save him realized Kiowa was gone and could only sit there with shit on his hands in the rain alone and still. War also changes people because they constantly think about the trauma they've been through and can cause disorders like PT SD.  Our "good soldier" opinion can be false because many base a soldier on how many medals he has and O'Brien claims that many of the soldiers receive medals but sometimes for doing nothing or for something little like getting a minor injury and receiving a purple heart. War is like life because troops learn new things like they'd learn everyday in a normal life, but in war they learn survival skills and even skills to overcome many things like the death of a soldier.

Outrageous Bravery

O'Brien writes,

"The Silver Star?" his father might have said. 
"Yes, but I didn't get it. Almost, but not quite."
"And his father would have nodded, knowing full well that many brave men do not win medals for their bravery, and that others win medals for doing nothing." (135)

In the story 'Speaking of Courage' O'Brien reveals that even if you're brave and continue to be brave you may not be acknowledged for it. This quote shows how the battles, and the "good soldier"  are completely different from the reality of the war. I believe this quote answers this question because in all reality i believe that any soldier going to war should be considered as brave. But from this quote it shows that in the reality of war you have to do something outside of a normal soldier life to be considered as brave to win the Silver Star medal.

Life Changes

O'Brien writes,

Even now I haven't finished sorting it out. Sometimes I forgive myself, other times I don't. In the ordinary hours of life I try not to dwell on it, but now and then, when I'm reading a newspaper or just sitting alone in a room, I'll look up and see the young man step out of the morning fog. I'll watch him walk toward me, his shoulders slightly stooped, his head cocked to the side, and he'll pass within a few yards of me and suddenly smile at some secret thought and then continue up the trail to where it bends back into the fog. (128)

O'Brien reveals that soldiers' lives are not the same as it was before the war. He shows that soldiers don't forget when they kill someone or when one of them is killed. O'Brien keeps on remembering the first guy he killed and how he won't forget it and what could of happened if he never killed the guy.

War Makes You a Man

Tim O'Brien writes..

War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead (76) 

O'Brien reveals what war is like, how it feels to be in a middle of a war, and some of the things that make up a true war story. He says war is hell but that's not the half of it. We can truly never know what war is like unless we ourselves experience it first hand. He himself who spent many years in the war cannot even explain to us how war is like and how bad/ good it is.


O'Brien writes

    The war wasn't all terror and violence. Sometimes things could almost get sweet. For instance, I remember a little boy with a plastic leg. I remember how he hopped over to Azar and asked for a chocolate bar "GI number one," the kid said and Azar laughed and handed over the chocolate. When the boy hopped away, Azar clucked his tough and said, "Wars a bitch." He shook his head sadly. "One leg, for Chrissake. Some poor fucker ran out of ammo." (30)

O'Brien shows that war sucks it was nothing but pure hell and innocent people get hurt innocent people as in children.


O'brien writes,
His jaw was in his throat , his upper lip and teeth were gone , his one eye was shut, his other eye was a star-shaped hole, his eyebrows were thin and arched like a women's, his nose was undamaged, there was a slight tear at the lobe of one ear, his clean black hair was swept upward into a cowlick at the rear the skull, his forehead was lightly freckled , his fingernails were clean the skin at his left cheek peeled back in three ragged stripes, his right cheek...his neck was open to the spinal cord and the blood there was thick and shiny and it was this wound that had killed him.(118)       
O'brien reveals that war is uncomfortable and by being in the middle of the war there will be a time where you approach killing someone, then after all these traumatic things happen it will change you as person, maybe leaving you with PTD, because you are emotionally scarred leaving those memories stuck in your head. Then it really shows how it's uncomfortable by the word choice he had chose to describe the dead boy in the story. Leaving you with a vivid image.

Just Ignore It..

O'Brien writes,

'What this was, it was a shit field. The village toilet. No indoor plumbing, right? So they used the field. I mean, we were camped in a goddamn shit field.' He imagined Sally Kramer closing her eyes. If she were here with him, in the car, she would've said, 'Stop it. I don't like that word'

This is an example of how O'Brien compares war to life. O'Brien describes war as a shit field, like it was a horrible place to be. Life can also be bad and filled with bad events, just like how the men in the war experienced bad events. War isn't the only place where bad things happen. When bad things happen, people would rather ignore it than call attention to it. This connects to life because in the quote is gives you an imagery of this girl Sally Kramer covering her ears and saying that she doesn't like the word he uses to describe war. It's just like how in life people ignore the bad things especially if it doesn't affect them personally.

War is hard to understand

O'Brien writes,
There was no music.  Most of the hamlet had burned down, including her house, which was now smoke, and the girl danced with her eyes half closed, her feet bare.  She was maybe fourteen.  She had black hair and brown skin.  "Why's she dancing?"  Azar said.  We searched through the wreckage but there wasn't much to find.  Rat Kiley caught a chicken for dinner.  Lt. Cross radioed up to the gunships and told them to go away. (129)

O'Brien is saying that war is confusing and hard to understand.  Nobody really knows what's going on.  They just do what they're told to do.  There are no winners.  Everybody loses something in war.

Henry Dobbins! Face of 'murica

O'Brien writes,

Henry Dobbins was a good man, and a superb soldier, but sophistication was not his strong suit. The ironies went beyond him. In many ways he was like America itself, big and strong, full of good intentions, a roll of fat jiggling at his belly, slow of foot but always plodding along, always there when you needed him, a believer in the virtues of simplicity and directness and hard labor. Like his country, too, Dobbins was drawn toward sentimentality. (111)
O'Brien reveals that Henry Dobbins represents two different halves of American. Henry Dobbins was big, strong, full of good intentions, always there for you when you needed him, worked hard, a believer in the virtues of simplicity and directness. Henry Dobbins other half was the negative side of America. Henry was fat and O'Brien argues that in a way Henry is dumb. Henry Dobbins represents the good and the bad side of America, showing that war is like life.

Listening to the wounded

Tim O'Brien says through the voice of Norman Bowker:

"Sounds pretty wet," his father would've said, pausing briefly. "So what happened?" 
"You really  what to hear about this?"  
"Hey, I'm your father."(136)

We  hear what Norman Bowker would have wanted to hear his father say,what many soldiers would also like to have....some one to listen to hear what they have to say about there experience with war and allow them to have some peace with the world.This monument of Norman Bowker would have been a touching part of the book if anyone was willing to listen or care.

Answers Change With Age

O'Brien says,

Someday, I hope, she'll ask again. But here I want to pretend she's a grown up. I want to tell her exactly what happen, or what I remember happening and then I want to say to her as a little girl she was absolutely right. This is why I kept writing war stories.(125)

This is a section from The Things They Carried, where Tim O'Brien's nine year old daughter asked him if he had ever killed someone. earlier in the page, Tim tells his daughter "Of course not" but later on, in the quote O'Brien expresses his true feelings and how he wishes the situation could of went. This impacted me because it forced me to form the thought that Answers change with Age. At the point and time, O'Briens daughter is very young, and naive, O'Brien understood that she may not understand the truth but he hopes she'll ask again one day when shes older and ready for the truth.

War Changes People

O'Brien writes,

A good sharp mind, Rat said. true, she could be silly at times but she picked up on things fast . At the end of the second week , when four casualties came in, Mary Anne wasn't afraid to get her hands bloody. (93)

O'Brien demonstrates from this quote that the war changes people. For example Mary Anne changed on a massive scale within the first two to three weeks, she arrived clean and girly but after a few weeks didn't shower or take as much care of her appearance... the war changed her making her almost a complete different person.