Tim O 'Brien's If I Die In A Combat Zone'

analytical Essay
1076 words
1076 words

In the textbook, the War and Peace chapter is preluded by an epigraph from Tim O’Brien’s If I Die in a Combat Zone which states: “Do dreams offer lessons? Do nightmares have themes, do we awaken and analyze them and live our lives and advise others as a result? Can the foot soldier teach anything important about war, merely for having been there? I think not. He can tell war stories.” O’Brien’s quote goes against the stereotypical depiction of the “war hero.” O’Brien believes that just because someone participates in a war does not mean that the person is able to make sense of war. As O’Brien believes, and as numerous other authors throughout the War and Peace Unit believe, war is confusing and meaningless, especially in regard to the vast …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how tim o'brien's "if i die in a combat zone" epigraph goes against the stereotypical depiction of the "war hero."
  • Analyzes how muriel spark's "the first year of my life" portrays the disarray and senseless killing of war.
  • Analyzes how anna akhmatova's "the first long-range artillery shell in leningrad" highlights the confusion and unnecessary killing in war.
  • Analyzes how mohsin hamid's "of windows and doors" portrays the hysteria and meaningless death in war-torn areas.
  • Concludes that o'brien's assertion that war is full of confusion and senseless killing is supported by multiple texts in the war and peace unit.

However, at this time, the speaker was merely a newborn baby. This does not hinder the speaker’s ability to relate ideas and communicate though as the speaker authenticates her newborn self by claiming all babies are born with a sense of omniscience that they eventually lose. By telling the story through the perspective of an infant, the speaker incorporates a childish tone with war which is obviously not supposed to be childish. For example, the speaker relays, “In France the conscripted soldiers leapfrogged over the dead on the advance and littered the fields with limbs and hands, or drowned in the mud.” Through her description of soldiers “leapfrogging” over other dead soldiers, Spark characterizes the death and destruction of war as senseless. Also, by telling the story from the infant’s perspective, Spark juxtaposes the actions typical to a baby with the calamity of war. The speaker says, “On all the world’s fighting fronts the men killed in action or dead of wounds numbered 8,538,315 and the warriors wounded and maimed were 21,219,452. With these figures in mind I sat up in my high chair and banged my spoon on the table.” This juxtaposition downplays the significance of the destructiveness of war and conveys that war makes as much sense as the random actions of newborn

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