Analysis Of Tim O ' Brien 's A Bright Young Man With A Promising Future
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How would one feel if at any moment they could be called to fight in a war? For young adult males around the world, the looming feeling of receiving a draft notice is commonplace. But American teenagers are unaccustomed to this concept, as they are shielded from the truths of war on a daily basis. Author and Vietnam War veteran Tim O’Brien introduces the reader to his main character, Tim O’Brien, a bright young man with a promising future. Shortly after Tim graduates from college, he receives his draft notice to fight in the Vietnam War, and his world changes forever. Tim struggles with what he believes in his heart is right and what is expected of him by others. As the summer goes by, his decision leads up to a fateful boat ride on the…show more content… Therefore, this short story should be included in the junior English curriculum.
According to American writer and National Book Award winner Flannery O’Connor, “the basis of art is truth” (65) and O’Brien blends his own personal stories with fiction to paint a truthful picture of what war is actually like. American teenagers these days are unaware of how war really is and because war happens “over there”, there is a disconnect between teens, soldiers and vets. In Northbrook, the conversation of drafts and going to war never occurs because there is no real threat of it. Similar to O’Brien, Northbrook teenagers have good educations and they have big hopes and dreams for their futures. They don’t understand what it’s like to have their entire lives changed by receiving a draft, and therefore reading this story is fundamental to their development as human beings. Author Daniel Robinson explains that there must be some truth to war stories, “but alone they [facts] cannot reveal the hidden truths found in a true war story” (1). Although a soldier may remember what happened on the warfront, a truthful war story takes these facts and adds meaning to them so that the underlying ideas of the human experience become more complex. For this reason, O’Brien meshes his own experiences with his imagination in order to paint as clear a picture as he can about what being at war is really