And The Man He Killed'

Decent Essays
Over time, an abundant collection of literature has been written in reference to the Vietnam Conflict. For instance, “The Man I Killed” written by Tim O’Brien, and “The Man He Killed” written by Thomas Hardy, were written about the feelings behind a killing. Even though both, O’Brien and Hardy show how guilty and remorseful the narrator is now feeling that his ‘foe’ is left lying dead, O’Brien illustrates a soldier who is struggling to recover. Whereas, in Hardy’s poem the narrator is semi-recovered by the end of the poem. Each piece depicts the nerve-racking experience of killing another human being, however each author’s strategy of coping differs. In both O’Brien’s short story and Hardy’s poem, they portray the guilt that one is left with once the ‘enemy’ is killed. Later on both authors state that the ‘enemy’ was never really their enemy. O’Brien uses reflection to show that Tim did not want to kill the man but considering the situation it was…show more content…
The majority of O’Brien’s writing is addressing how the dead man looks and how it affects him. O’Brien repeats the following, “His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, his other was a star-shaped hole…” O’Brien continuously describes how the dead man looks and what he could have been had O’Brien not killed him. O’Brien states “He loved mathematics. His eyebrows were thin and arched like a woman’s, and at school the boys sometimes teased him…” Despite the fact that Hardy did show guilt in the opening of his poem, he quickly tossed that thought out by stating that this was war and he reiterates by stating “He was my foe…” Another difference that lies between the two literatures is that Hardy’s writing lacks the vocabulary that truly depicts the reality of war and how it felt first-handed-serving in the war. O’Brien illustrates the gruesome reality that soldiers
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