The Man I Killed, By Tim O ' Brien

1580 Words7 Pages
To kill a man is to take away everything he has, and ever will have; and in War, death is inescapable. Vietnam War veteran Tim O’Brien was drafted to fight in the War in 1969 and states in the book as his “character/narrator” self that he attempted an escape to Canada out of fear. But the stronger fear of people being ashamed of him took over and had him turning back to home to enlist in the U.S. Army. O’Brien published The Things They Carried in 1990 and explored the physical and mental realms of war-time combat with stories. These stories are based on his own experiences, but they include a fictionalized version of himself as “the narrator” and are said to only be what felt like the truth rather than being the actual truth. Despite this, the intention of these stories are to give readers the understanding of what it was like to be a soldier fighting for their life and country overseas. In the chapter “The Man I Killed”, the narrator tells the story of a man he killed outside the village of My Khe who was “a citizen and a soldier” of Vietnam (119). Although this man was the enemy, O’Brien’s character displays how ending another’s life in battle is not an easy pill to swallow. O’Brien, the narrator, uses repetitive descriptions, vivid and gory details, and his glum emotional response to the fatality he caused in the chapter to illustrate how feeling responsible for another man’s death can have traumatic effects on the mind. The author repeats descriptions of the man
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