6 October 2014
Review of A Hard Rain Fell: a G. I. ’s True Story of The War in Vietnam
In A Hard Rain Fell: a G. I. ‘s True Story of The War in Vietnam, John Ketwig tells a visceral account of a young man’s odyssey from the country roads of upstate New York to the jungles of Vietnam. It is a contrast of cultural upheavals and the harsh realities of war, from rock and roll philosophy and Beatlemania to the sight of seeing a child being burned by a napalm bomb. John Ketwig presents this powerful story in the form of a memoir in which he shares his arguments and analysis as being a front-line soldier as well as being an average high school teenager. This paper will look at Ketwig’s story as well as tales that have forever impacted his life. It will also evaluate the overall flow of Ketwig’s writing in hopes of finding any strengths or weaknesses that are present throughout the story.
Ketwig began writing this memoir fourteen years after he had stepped foot in Vietnam. Ketwig begins his memoir by stating that his purpose for writing the memoir was so that one day his wife and his children might read and understand the experiences that he went through during his tenure in Vietnam. Ketwig states, “I wanted my wife to know all I was feeling. My children, though toddlers at that time, might read it and understand” ( Ketwig,7). Ketwig then goes on to describe horrifying accounts of what it was like as a G.I. soldier through his own eyes.
Starting with his deployment to Vietnam in September of 1967 through his triumphant return home, Ketwig shows the struggle of the war and the emotional rollercoaster that it was. The reader, is taken on a wild ride through the lens of Ketwig and recei...
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...scussed in class, I was really sensing the connection of the political division between the two sides. As evidenced by this comparison that was recounted, you can see how much of an effect Vietnam had on people during the time frame.
A Hard Rain Fell: a G. I. ‘s True Story of The War in Vietnam”, is a powerful account of one man’s journey from New York to the horrors that would proceed him into Vietnam. The memoir’s use of writing and vivid descriptions helps to make the story come to life as something more than events that would appear on a timeline. While some of the text seems clumped together, they also give a sense of life and credibility to a subject that at times caan be too much to comprehend. The author’s approach about his experiences is admirable. I would recommend this book to anybody who would want an up-close account of what life in Vietnam was like.
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