Compare & Contrast Essay

852 Words Nov 29th, 2010 4 Pages
In And After The War

Young men who are sent to a war learn the reality in a very harsh and brutal way. Both the stories, ‘The Red Convertible’ and ‘The Things They Carried’ portray the life of a young soldier and how he psychologically gets affected from all the things he had seen in the war. Tim O’Brien’s ‘The Things They Carried,’ is more specific on the experiences of a soldier during a war where as Karen Louise Erdrich focuses more on describing the post war traumatic stress in her short story ‘The Red Convertible’. One thing similar in both the narrations is the Vietnam War and its consequences on the soldiers. From the background of both the authors it’s easy to conclude that Tim O’Brien being a war veteran emphasizes more on the
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In Karen’s ‘The Red Convertible,’ the story is narrated by Lyman Lamartine who is the younger brother of Henry Junior who had just got back from Vietnam after the war was over. The whole story is narrated in a flashback unlike Tim’s ‘The Things They Carried’ where the story moves back and forth in time. For example when the author describes the things that the soldiers carried in the very beginning of the story, he mentions Ted Lavender carrying six or seven ounces of premium dope until he was shot. Karen emphasizes more on the relationship between brothers and compares the state of mind in which they were before and after the war. The younger brother Lyman hadn’t changed much where as the elder brother Henry was completely a different person after he got back from Vietnam. In both the stories authors have successfully shown the life of a young and happy bachelor until he was drafted to the war and then things changed drastically. In ‘The Things They Carried,’ author narrates Lieutenant Jimmy Cross as a romantic young boy who would carry letters from a girl named Martha. He knew there was no such thing as love between them but he would still be hopeful that things might work out his way after the war is over and when he is sent back home. In the later part of the story after one of his soldier dies, he blames himself for what had happened. Though it can be argued that it wasn’t completely his fault but that’s what being in war can do to you. Whereas in ‘The Red

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