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SparkNotes: The Vietnam War (–): Suggested Essay Topics
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You can download study resources by swapping your own or purchasing Exchange Credits. The author insists it is a fictional account. But elements like the dedication continue to point to the reality of what happened in Vietnam.
O'Brien tells war stories partly so that he can relive them again and again. He argues that each time time one tells or reads a story one breathes life into the characters. When the story is over, they are dead again, he writes. For O'Brien, fiction also resembles dreamingbecause both are involuntary: he cannot help that his experiences haunt him. What is the role of death in this book? Is it a release from a nightmarish life, or something to be feared?
O'Brien, the narrator, is a profoundly non-religious man. For him, death is the end of the story. The sense of senselessness pervading this book is rooted in two things: the Vietnam War seems to have no real cause or justification, and the young men killed there reach the end of their lives and effectively disappear. O'Brien's non-belief in the afterlife lends a special tinge of horror to the already horrifying events.
Field Trip. In The Field-Field Trip. O'Brien provides different stories because everyone sees things in their own way. Who's to say which version is right or wrong The Things They Carried study guide contains a biography of Tim O'Brien, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The Things They Carried essays are academic essays for citation.
Remember me. Forgot your password? Perry and Peewee balance one another out - each providing the other with what he lacks. Are there any heroes in Fallen Angels? What constitutes a hero according to the novel? In Fallen Angels , Myers breaks down the myth of the American military hero and the glorification of war. Peewee and Perry agree that it is stupid to act like a hero when facing imminent death. Instead, they both immediately abandon any self-sacrificial ideal and try to preserve their own lives.
Yet as the novel progresses, Perry becomes close to the other members of the squad. Instead of devoting their heroic acts to the American cause, they risk their lives to save each other. When Peewee is injured, Perry insists on helping his friend walk. In the end, the heroes are not those who will be remembered in history books as purveyors of democracy, but rather, those who would not leave their friends behind to die. While Myers presents an inspiring message about humanity and brotherhood, he reveals a more cynical perspective on the idea of a "war hero.
For the majority of the novel, the army is an equalizer across race and class.
Austraila's Involvment in the Vietnam War
In the wake of the Civil Rights Movement, the army was a place where both African American and Caucasian soldiers wore the same uniforms, carried the same guns, and ate the same food. In fact, Peewee cites this equality as a reason for his decision to join the army in the first place. When Perry first arrives in Vietnam, he is surprised at the number of African American soldiers, but forges lasting bonds with most of his squad mates - regardless of skin color.
Perry does not think about race that often unless he is describing life at home in Harlem. Lieutenant Dongan upsets the racial balance, however, when he brings the racism that is currently plaguing American society to Vietnam. What is the difference between Perry's pre-conceived ideas about war and his real experiences in Vietnam? Before his tour of duty, Perry and many young soldiers like him see war as a heroic pursuit of justice.
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During World War II, the Americans entered the war defensively and fought against tangible evil in order to make the world a safer place. The returning soldiers were celebrated as protectors of freedom and democracy.
Vietnam War Essay
However, over the course of Fallen Angels , Richie Perry and his fellow soldiers discover that victories in Vietnam will not be quite so triumphant and their reason for fighting is becoming increasingly vague. Many soldiers who returned from Vietnam like Perry and Peewee harbored lasting guilt about the lives they had taken and the atrocities they had been forced to commit in the name of democracy. Describe structural choices and storytelling techniques that Myers employs in Fallen Angels.
How does his style enhance the narrative? Myers wrote Fallen Angels entirely through the point of view of Richie Perry, the protagonist. The entire novel is in the present tense. Perry is the reader's filter for all of the information about the war both personal and politically ; we experience his thoughts and reactions as he matures over the course of the narrative. This anchors all readers firmly in the era of the Vietnam War and makes the conflict feel present and immediate.
Additionally, Myers employs a more languid, reflective writing style during the soldiers' downtime in the barracks, during which they fill their time with more menial activities. Myers allows the reader insight into Perry's contemplations by describing his daydreams and his flashbacks to his civilian life.
However, Myers's prose becomes more visceral and disjointed during the periods of intense fighting, during which Perry also finds refuge in his thoughts, but only for brief moments. This back-and-forth mirrors the patterns of the soldiers' lives. While they are out "in the boonies," death can happen in a split second, and they never know when the enemy might attack.