Essay title: Tim Obrien War Books Analysis
Throughout all of history, humans have been unable to maintain peace and have always resorted to the inevitable state of war.
War has changed of lives of every person who has every lived, and will continue to do so as man struggles to fight the survival of the fittest. Millions of innocent people have literally been the casualties to the idea of war, and billions have had there lives changes forever. Every day people watch movies, read books, and hear reports of war in the media, but how can one ever truly understand what war is without being forced to takes the lives of fellow humans, while at the same time learning to cope with living conditions, being in completely unknown places, and staring death in the face everyday. There are many different scarring aspects of war that can take a man and turn him into a completely different person.In the world we live in the worse act a man can do is to take the life of a fellow human.
As gruesome and wrong that it sounds to take ones life, it has become a practice that people in wars of all centuries have become extremely familiar with. Imagine being a typical twenty year old student, maybe about to get married and start a family, and three months later being forced to kill just so you can stay alive and make it home. Going from having complete freedom to being given orders and now having the freedom to commit what we consider one of the harshest crimes. Although this is an astonishing revolution La Ferriere 2 for some, there are also those who can see someone die and think of it as just another number, and not even be phased.
A case of this situation would be, “You scrambled his sorry self, look at that, you did, you laid him out like Shredded fuckin’ Wheat” (O’Brien 2). However while this statement was being recited, an emotionless Tim stared blankly at young man whose life he himself had just taken. As he look at the young mans body he began to tell himself the story of the young man’s life.“He had been born, maybe, in 1946 in the village on My Khe…He was not a Communist. He was a citizen and a soldier.
” He continues to go on and state “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, of the heroes of the stories. He hoped in his heart that he would never be tested. He hoped the Americans would go away.
Soon, he hoped. He kept hoping and hoping, always, even when he was asleep.” (1) Although the soldier knew none of this for fact, but was convinced of it because that’s all his conscious told him. He had no choice but to except the fact that it was his sole action that took that mans life. The shear mental force of coming to realization with this fact is one that can be devastating to a person’s live, and have an ever lasting affect.
The reality of this can also be looked at from another point of view which a fellow soldier brings up, “You want to trade places with him? Turn it all upside down-you want that? I mean, be honest?” (13). realistically the soldier knows he would much rather have killed that man than spared his own life, there is some haunting truth that still dawns upon him. La Ferriere 3 As it has come to be proven in many cases, situations like these can cause men to be terrorized by it forever, and in severe cases take there own lives. This is only one of the many aspects apparent in wars. While fighting for your own survival with almost every move you make, you are presented with many other extremely horrific features of war. While looking over a man that you don’t know and have just killed can be a dramatic encounter, it is almost guaranteed that you will be forced to deal with a different aspect of death. That is the death of someone you know, maybe a fellow soldier you have fought besides in many battles, a best friend, or even just a fellow citizen in the same uniform as you.
In “How to Tell a True War Story”, Tim O’Brien recounts a story of a fellow soldier and his best friend. They had been messing around one day and were playing a game they had done so frequently. The two men were named Curt Lemon and Bob “Rat” Kiley. On this particular day Lemon accidentally stepped on a booby trapped 105 round, and has O’Brien turned see Lemon step out of the shade and into bright.