Monday, October 13, 2014

Exploration 5: Brandon Kilgore

The story that has meant the most to me is “On the Rainy River”. I like this story because he has never told it before and we can believe that it is completely true. There’s something about him fighting himself internally over war that just makes it exciting and makes you drawn in and curious what choice he will make. I also really find it intriguing how Elroy just knows what he’s going through without asking, and essentially helps him make up his mind by giving him the opportunity to go to Canada, and without ever directly talking to him about the subject, and when he makes his decision Elroy disappears the next day.

I connect with Tim O’Brien the most, because I’m very much like him. When it comes to tough decisions for me, I take forever to weigh my options and I always think about the negatives of each which always makes the decision that much harder. Often I deal with guilt, because after I make some decision it turns out to not be the best one and I never let myself forget it, even though these decisions and problems are a grain of sand compared to O’Brien’s.

I like how he characterizes the men. He tells what they carried physically and emotionally and tells all the ins and outs of what they do and what have to deal with. But. He also, reminds everyone that most of them are only 19 or 20 year old young adults which he uses to explain some of the erratic behaviors of the men like Rat and the water buffalo. Most of them were nowhere near ready for what they were going to experience in Vietnam, because they were so young and many had other dreams that didn’t include the military. All of these things go into the characterization of them as young adults who aren’t expected to have the maturity to deal with war, which he uses indirectly to explain their actions.

“If you weren’t humping, you were waiting. I remember the monotony…..Even in the deep bush, where you could die any number of ways, the war was nakedly and aggressively boring” (pg. 32-33). There is more to this on page 33 put I don’t want to cite it all. This passage struck me because it uses such deep language to describe some basic feelings, and in one paragraph Tim pretty much explains the whole mood of the war. The way he writes it adds excitement to it, it doesn’t feel like another old boring war description, besides it’s Vietnam a war completely different from any other war.

1 comment:

  1. That passage really does sum up the war, which is why I think it was so hard for them to deal with. They were in such a bad environment they had no good ways to deal with the stress.


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