The Sorrow of War Essay

1244 Words Aug 30th, 2011 5 Pages
The Sorrow of War

Bao Ninh’s The Sorrow of War is a novel that is a personal view of the Vietnam War from the perspective of a Vietnamese soldier. Like the American novel “The things they carried”, this novel brings about the effects of war on people, and especially how it defeats the human capacity for things such as love and hope. Bao Ninh offers this realistic picture of the Vietnam War’s impact on the individual Vietnamese soldier through use of a series of reminiscences or flashbacks, jumping backwards and forwards in time between the events most salient in memory, events which take on a different theme each time they are examined. His main protagonist Kien, who is basically Bao himself, looks back not just at his ten years at
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Along with not seeing the bigger picture soldiers lost their ordinary lives due to the war and the contrast was so different between pre and post war that it was hard to cope with life for the men fighting in the war. “For Kien, the most attractive, persistent echo of the past is the whisper of ordinary life, even though the sounds of ordinary life have been washed away by the long storms of war. It is the whispers of friends and ordinary people that are the most horrifying.”(63) The strongest emotions occur as the story unfolds and life takes over from childhood fantasies, destroying individuals and their families as a whole society is remade for instance Kien’s sweetheart before the war. Kien abandons his lover and instead spends the next years plodding through the jungle where everything dies. "no jungle grew again in this clearing. No grass, no plants" (26). He had no true friends and he learned not to fear death but rather wish it. When war ends he has a struggle to rebuild that was once loss, he can no longer see the good of things while he slowly goes insane with out love and hope and of course no sweetheart to aid him. A very sad and classical effect of a war that was worthless to its soldiers and people. The war had changed people in so many ways, as their former character of being sincere, at peace, and loving was slowly changed to chaotic, indecisive and unhopeful lives. People began to forget who they really were all due to the war, “It
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