Essay In Country

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In Country In the novel “In Country” by Bobbie Ann Mason, we find the story of a young girl who struggles in life to find out about her father and the history of the Vietnam War. Throughout the book, the reader finds out that this girl, Sam Hughes, is not your every day teenager. She is faced with the responsibility of dealing with her unmotivated uncle and a boyfriend she really doesn’t care for anymore. She’s confronted with the fact that she really knows nothing about her father and the War he took part in. All of the people she knows who were involved in Vietnam have been touched somehow by the war. What are some of the things she learns from these people? What does she find out about herself and about the father she has…show more content…
Although the TV death of Colonel Henry Blake seems more real to her than the death of her own father (p. 25), the fact that she begins to explore the historical events of Vietnam show that the television texts have failed to satisfy her inner need. Even though she’s far from discovering the truth, she’s one step closer to seeing who her father really was. However, she needs a more authentic and personalized model. Sam finds that more personal model in the veterans she talks to around Hopewell. In her first encounters with the vets, however, she meets with a puzzling inability (or refusal) to speak – “Anyone who survived Vietnam seemed to regard it as something personal and embarrassing” (p. 67). Even if the vets do talk about the war, their stories rarely mesh. Some want to ignore the past – some want to glorify it. Some tell her to stop looking for something she can never fully understand. Because their voices conflict, Sam feels that they can’t be held as reliable sources of the truth that she desires. Another source of information about her dad is her family. Irene is hesitant to talk about her first husband. First she tells Sam, “I was married to him for one month before he left, and I never saw him again…I hardly even remember him” (p. 167). She also displays some bitterness about the war and tells Sam not to make it out like it was a happy time (p. 236). Emmett is also reluctant to
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