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The story of the vietnam war in tim obriens the things they carrier

The development of Vietnam War Literature 2. The experience of trauma during the Vietnam War 3. The handling of trauma after the war 4.

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Referring to a state of mind, a psychological reality rather than the physical presence in the South Asian coastal state or even the participation in combat, they hint at issues that reach far beyond the temporal and territorial confines of Vietnam. Since literature, fictional or non-fictional, continues to play an important role in our exposure to history and the preservation of memory, this raises the question why narratives written in response to the Vietnam War were slow to appear and form the canon of works readers are now, almost 40 years after the longest war the United States have ever been involved in has come to an end, able to choose from.

Almost three million American soldiers Anis- field 140 were sent into a country and natural environment they were neither familiar with nor adequately prepared for, expected to fight a war without distinct battles lines and for reasons few of them had fully understood. Ringnalda 26 About 58,000 of them never returned home and 300,000 were wounded and deeply traumatized.

Anisfield 140 Vietnam proved to be the first large scale military conflict that their country could and did not win.

'The Things They Carried' is a Vietnam-era soldier's somber look at war

Ringnalda 26 But in addition to that it was a unique experience in yet another respect. Heavily documented in film and photographs, news concerning the combat action traveled faster than ever before and brought the brutal reality of the war, with all of its atrocities and causalities, into the domestic homes on a daily basis. It comes as no surprise, then, that the Vietnam War has left a unique mark on the American society and affected the awareness and self-conception of an entire country.

Walzer 95 This had not been a so-called great war, worth glorifying in literature and arts, and the veterans were not praised and celebrated as heroes upon their return. At a time when Vietnam was everywhere in the media, from the newspapers to radio and television, the general interest in fictional and non-fictional accounts of the war in book-form was limited.

Publishers considered it too much of an economic risk to invest time and money in authors and books that dealt with the military action in South Asia Anisfield 7 and a number of writers, especially those who sought publication for the first time like James Webb or William Ehrhart, saw their works rejected repeatedly. Martin 76 As a result, none of them sold well and the majority quickly disappeared from the market again.

The Representation of the Vietnam War Trauma in Tim O’Brien’s "The Things They Carried"

Change arrived during the late 1970s in form of the Hollywood blockbuster. Martin 73 This period of rediscovered interest was inspiring and encouraging to veterans who had felt rejected, ignored or looked down upon by society after they had arrived back in North America at the end of their service.

Tal And yet all of them, experienced writer and first time authors alike, had struggled to find a language and style in which they could put the trauma of war into words.

Speak about what used to be considered as the unspeakable. One possible approach to the task of committing the Vietnam trauma to paper is therefore rooted in the style and conventions of the writing that has shaped past events like the World Wars I and II in fictional and non-fictional narratives.

It is through his eyes that the reader experiences war in a multitude of Vietnam novels, too. Ringnalda 31 Among the most obvious advantages of such a simple organization of time and action in a narrative is its easy comprehensibility.

It is effortless to follow and familiar to the reader. Ringnalda 30, 33-34 As a result, their works are target- oriented and speak to an American audience that is looking for a native hero to take them through the battle and back, but ultimately reflect only an unrealistic distortion of the country and culture of Vietnam, the nature of the war and its devastating outcome and aftermath.

Ringnalda 28, 33 Among the first to reject not only the glorification of combat in South Asia, but also the conventional terms in which war used to be described were the American journalists.

But this non-fictional account of the Vietnam War, based on his own memories, was only the first in a long line.