Monday, January 25, 2010

Exploration 4: On The Rainy River, and Question 3

My favorite chapter in this book has to be On The Rainy River. For me, it really brings together alot of the issues as to why Tim O'Brien may have wanted to even write this book. O'Brien did not even want to go to war. He thought he was "too good for this war" and that he was "above it." i also think that the man that we are introduced to in this chapter, Elroy Berdahl, is a contributing factor in the way that O'Brien's life played out. O'Brien says of him, "The man who opened the door that day is the hero of my life." Again, without this chapter, I think the book would have ended up a completely different way. Another very interesting quote in this book is the point where O'Brien realizes that he is going to go to war. O'Brien states "I would go to the war-I would kill and maybe die-because I was embarassed not to." He now realized what he had to do. It would eat him up inside if he did not.
This book gives me a different perspective into the issue of war. You see how it really affects each individual. People who have not served may think that those in the service just come home, and resume normal life, as if nothing had happened. It is so much more than that. If changes you for the rest of your life. I think this pertains to those in the past, and the present. It really showed me how it affects each individual.

5 comments:

Jimmy Wall said...

I agree that Elroy berdahl played a big part in this book. Going to that fishing camp was probably one of the most important events in Tim's life. It was a difficult time for him, and he just needed time to understand his options.

Brice Sheldon said...

I really enjoyed this chapter too. I do not believe O'Brien thought he was better than the war. He seemed to be more scared of what would happen if he did go to war. I also thought Elroy was a big factor in O'Briens life. Not so much as playing a part in getting him to go to vietnam, but the fact that he was there for a teenage boy who was not sure whether running or staying was the right thing to do. He was neutral character who was just there for words of advice.

ahlam said...

I agree with the fact that war changes you when you come back. You can't see all the blood shed and be the same person you use to be. It also changes an individuals values an morals the things you do in war no one would picture you doing outside of it.

Todd said...

I think that it is surprising to see the impact that fear of embarrassment can have on a person. In O'Brien's case, embarrassment was worse than dyeing, worse than the loss of life. The struggle between losing your life courageously and losing the way of life that you love through embarrassment would be tough. On one hand, you could die, on the other; the thought of never returning to the United States is almost like dying. I would probably choose to go to war like he did, but this chapter does make you see the complexities of war.

Sidney Rathbun said...

I agree with you, I believe that soldiers are fully affected for the rest of their lives. In ways that we can't understand. I think that you have to actually experience war as a soldier to understand how much it impacts one.