Essay on The Things They Carried: On The Rainy River

Essay on The Things They Carried: On The Rainy River

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     Tim O’Brien, the author of The Things They Carried, is still undecided of whether to doge the draft and lose the respect of his family and friends, or go to the Vietnam War and lose his life, in the chapter “On The Rainy River”. Elroy’s actions reveal his good qualities that help Tim make this important decision, without any words of judgment or criticism. Elroy’s actions reveal heroic qualities. He is a silent Observer who helps Tim overcome his fears.     
     When Tim decided to leave his hometown of Worthington, Minnesota and drive almost five hundred miles to International Falls, Minnesota, he was unsure of what he was really doing. He knew he just had to leave. He ended up at the Tip Top Lodge, which was located on a peninsula on the Rainy River. It was owned by an eighty-one year old man, Elroy Berdahl. Tim describes him as “… skinny and shrunken and mostly bald. He wore a flannel shirt and brown workpants” (48). Elroy was smart man, and from his experience with all different kinds of people, he knew that Tim was in trouble and needed help. He gave Tim a room without asking any questions. His self-control for not forcing Tim to talk shows that Elroy was nonjudgmental.
     Elroy spends a great deal of time with Tim. He allows Tim to help him with the work that is needed for the winter around the lodge. Tim helped Elroy sweep the cabins, bring the boats in, and cu...

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