"We have to start treating Vietnam as a country and not a war. It'll take the old age and death of all veterans before it stops being our 51st state (Alvarez, 2013)." In the story "The Man I Killed", Tim O'Brien, who served in the U.S military in Vietnam, describes the guilt many American soldiers felt about the atrocities they committed in Vietnam. "Vietnam is not an appendage of America. That sort of thinking got us into the mess in the first place. Were bound together by some painful history, but it’s not our liver or our appendix- it's a country (Alvarez, 2013)." The Vietnam War was one of the longest and most expensive wars in American history. It started from 1955 till April 30, 1975. This war lasted for almost 20 years. According to the article "How the U.S Got Involved In Vietnam" by Jeff Drake the U.S attacked Vietman and this wasn't supposed to happen. This war could have been avoidable. The 58,000 Americans didn’t have to die, nor did the 2,000,000 Vietnamese. The U.S government was responsible for their deaths. What the government told the public from the very beginning was that they were going to war because they had to stop the communist menace in Vietnam or other countries would follow suit; that they had to defend the democratic South Vietnamese government against the gathering Red hordes. While other people say it was an attempt by the U.S to suppress a heroic Vietnamese national liberation movement that had driven French colonialism out of its country (Drake, 1993). According to Jeff Drake "imperialistic arrogance, personal gain and prestige, greed, anti-Communist hysteria, and the desire to control, drove the decision making process that led to U.S to war." Jeff Drake was an American soldier who fought in the... ... middle of paper ... ...ericanexperience/features/interview/mylai-obrien/>. Davis, Paul, Gary Harrison, David Johnson, Patricia Smith, and John Crawford. The Bedford Anthology of World Literature: The Twentieth Century, 1900-The Present. 6. United States of America: Bedford/St.Martin's, 2003. Print. Drake, Jeff. ""How the U.S. Got Involved In Vietnam". (1993). Web. 17 Dec 2013. . Homel, David. "Tim O'Brien Tells Vietnam War Stories Like no Other Author." The Gazette May 05 1990: 0. ProQuest. 17 Dec. 2013. "Rising Star Tim O'Brien." . Texas State University, n.d. Web. 17 Dec 2013. . "Tim O’Brien." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. .
The United States became frustrated with the death of wounded prisoners in Vietnam War. This is so deleterious John F Kennedy sends a warning to the west. Tim O’Brien Story about Vietnam could have been a biography because he played a role and it is based on a somewhat a true Story. O’Brien didn’t go through with this because of what he wrote is what he did see, what could have happened, and what he kept from being told. In the book simple themes guilt, shame, and innocence play a vital role in the soldier’s life.
Perhaps no event in recent history has so profoundly affected the political, sociological, and philosophical outlook of the American people as the Vietnam War. George Bell, Undersecretary of State from 1961 through 1966, called Vietnam the “greatest single error that America has made in its national history” (Legacies). As the first war the United States had ever lost, Vietnam shattered American confidence in its military supremacy and engendered a new wave of isolationist sentiment in the country. Mistrusting their government and retreating into a state of general disillusionment, the public demanded to know what went wrong. The people needed a scapegoat. Some groups blamed the military commanders for failing to adapt to Vietnam’s unique circumstances; some condemned politicians for not fully supporting the military effort; while still others upheld that victory was never possible in the first place.
Vietnam war has been one of the most deadliest and expensive wars to date. Not only it resulted in massive casualties and financial losses, it also made a long lasting effect on American psyche. Following the withdrawal of US combat forces in 1973, majority of Americans tried to overlook what had transpired for the past decade. It served as a devastating blow to American image both domestically and abroad. Vietnam war was heavily protested, misunderstood and highly controversial, and although many question the necessity of the invasion, yet it has continued to shape the way American foreign policies and military have evolved over the years. While Vietnam was the first war to be comprehensively televised still it had a negative stigma to it that was exploited by the media and Hollywood. Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice, willingly or unwillingly were neglected and scorned.
The Vietnam War took place in between 1947- 1975. It consisted of North Vietnam trying to make South Vietnam a communism government. The United States later joined this conflict because of the stress North Vietnam was putting to South Vietnam to become a government that America did not want. The main reason why America joined was because of a theory called the Domino Effect. America and Russia were going through what has been dubbed the Cold War. The Domino Effect is the theory that communism will spread form one country to another. United states does not want this because our government is a democracy and communism opposes everything we stand for. America fearing communism was growing, stepped into Vietnam with America’s interest in mind, instead of Vietnam’s. There are several reason why American should have not gotten involved with this war. The most important reason was that America government officials made to much of a big deal about communism. This might sound cynical, but America to a certain degree did over react. Let it be said that it is much easier to say this after the fact. By looking back at McCarthyism, we can see the silliness of this fear. There is a serious side though. Thousands of people dies for a government that has no impact of their daily life. What regime Vietnam was going to change over to had no effect on the every day cycle of the United States. So truly, one can say, this can not one thing to do with America, its government and people.
Tim O’Brien gained and lost many things in Vietnam. One of the things he lost was the chance to graduate from Harvard. This could have made for a potentially very successful promising career but at the young age of twenty-one he was drafted to be sent out to the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien did not like the idea of going to war, however he refused the idea of fleeing to Canada and decided to stay and serve his duty of fighting for his country. When he arrived in Vietnam he got the short end of the stick and ended up fighting on the front lines of the war. During his time there he observed that a majority of the men would do things like carry items or little possessions that made it easier to get by or reminded them of
“War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead,” (80). In the fiction novel The Things They Carried, the author Tim O’Brien reminisces fighting in the Vietnam War and the aftermath of the war with his platoon mates through short stories and memories. He goes in depth about the emotional trauma and physical battles they face, what they carry, and how Vietnam and war has changed them forever. O’Brien’s stories describe the harsh nature of the Vietnam War, and how it causes soldiers to lose their innocence, to become guilt-ridden and regretful, and to transform into a paranoid shell of who they were before the war.
The men that fought in Vietnam were changed forever the war had such an extensive impact on them. It took away the clear and innocent vision that people possessed and replaced it horrible thoughts regarding many different people, objects, and things. The problem was that they were too afraid to talk about or share their feelings with their squad leaders. Caused by the vast injustice O’Brien was pushed to the edge with the way he felt about this war the people in it, and he wanted to expose what it was actually like to be a soldier, and understand that they were never really cared for as well as present people with reasons for how useless this war was and that it was absolutely a waste of money and lives. (93) Another example for the amount of hate built upside the soldiers was when Colonel Daud was killed in a raid. He was a Colonel and he was American however he was hated so much that the soldiers could not help but rejoice over his death. They sang “Ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead.” (111) This goes on just to
Tim O’Brien served in the Vietnam War, and his short story “The Things They Carried” presents the effects of the war on its young soldiers. The treatment of veterans after their return also affects them. The Vietnam War was different from other wars, because too many in the U.S. the soldiers did not return as heroes but as cruel, wicked, and drug addicted men. The public directs its distaste towards the war at the soldiers, as if they are to blame. The also Veterans had little support from the government who pulled them away from their families to fight through the draft. Some men were not able to receive the help they needed because the symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) did not show until a year
The Vietnam War lasted from November 1, 1955 to April 30,1975, the longest the United States has been involved in a foreign conflict, and while Tim O’Brien served from 1969 to 1970, it wasn’t until 1990 that he released his novel, The Things They Carried. In total, there were 2,709,918 American soldier who fought in Vietnam across the duration of the war, with 25% of them pulled in through the draft as Tim O’Brien was. In an interview with Patrick Hicks, O’Brien describes how it felt to be unceremoniously dumped into a war when he, similar to many soldiers, had no knowledge of war,
The Vietnam War is a very arguable subject for Americans. People were either for the war or were against the war. Some people think that there was no reason for the United States to be going into this war and that it was not our problem to try and fix. The others think that we were doing a good thing trying to helping the Vietnamese. Even though a lot of people thought positively of the war to begin with a lot of people soon realized that the government was lying to Americans, the war strategies the Vietcong used were harsh, and this war killed so many innocent people.
Schroeder, Eric James. "Tim O'Brien: Maybe So." Vietnam, We've All Been There: Interviews with American Writers. Ed. Eric James Schroeder. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 1992. 125-43.
“The Vietnam war was a costly and very long conflict that eroded the communist regime of North Vietnam and its allies against the South Vietnam and its ally, us the United States of America (Unknown Source).” The Vietnam War began on the eve of 1959, causing a struggle between two of our major national forces. These two forces were attempting to unify the country the both love, Vietnam.