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Ethics of the US in the Vietnam War

Aaron Sanders

I feel that O'Brien says that courage is something that is gained once and as you encounter times where you have to break through your fears to do what is right, your courage slowly profits. His specific point of, "stashing it away" on the other hand demonstrates you have to not be courageous on a regular basis. He says that "We should progressively increase our moral capital in preparation to the day when the profile must be drawn out. " and therefore there is certainly that one time where all of your previous experience that gained you courage, now lead you past a significant barrier, unlike whatever you had ever dealt with before. I wasn't exactly that surprised that he was a coward to go into the warfare, mainly in the sense that was a war that lots of people had been opposed to, O'Brien specifically mentioned on site 38 that, "I was drafted to battle a conflict I hated. . . Young, yes, and politically naive, but even so the American War in Vietnam seemed to me incorrect. ". If you don't want to do something, like go to war, then, of course, you were cowardly. Do I agree on these grounds? Yes, no. First off, this is most likely the choice between living as a coward for the others of your life, or by subscribing to your brothers as they get slaughtered in the jungle a whole hemisphere abroad. Both sides which I have the same opinion for. It may be cowardice never to interact a fight overseas, but at least you get to live out your daily life at home but be tagged a coward. I also think though that you should not be required to fight for a cause you don't have confidence in. However, if you get drafted, then you are doing have a moral responsibility to move and combat for America's values. If you are drafted, you should take into account the broader impact of what you not answering the draft call requires. When America enters a war it is always said to be for what's right. If you then don't answer that call you aid the enemy because they have a far more dedicated navy and citizen populace all struggling with for what they imagine is right.

Shame has a major role within the lives of the soldiers, because they feel that killing people is shameful and something that nobody must have to do, or observing a buddy pass away and feeling as though you could've ceased it. O'Brien especially feels shame after he killed his first Viet Cong soldier, "[Kiowa] explained that it was a good kill, that we was a soldier, and this was war, that I should form up and stop staring. . . Sometimes I try to forgive myself and other times I don't. " (O'Brien, 127-128). I would say that heroism and stupidity is both due to the shame they feel. Heroism is shown in the sense that it offers the soldiers something more to deal with for. Take the Alpha company after Kiowa died, "'Move it, ' [Mitchell Sanders] said. 'Kiowa's hanging around on us'"(O'Brien, 160). They had all believed shame that he had died in such a cruel way, having drowned in the village's latrine during a mortar strike. From then on he is used as a rallying cry for all of those other soldiers. However shame also induced stupidity, "The next morning [Rat Kiley] taken himself. He became popular his boots and socks, laid out his medical package, doped himself up then shot himself in the feet. " (O'Brien, 212) Rat was so shamed by the war that he would do anything to escape it, even throw himself in the ft. . It's unfortunate the lengths someone would go to clear themselves of the responsibility of shame. It ends up being ridiculous what it'll drive them too, it may not even be a conscious decision that pushes them off the edge though in Rat Kiley's circumstance he fully made a decision. Shame can and should be used though as a rallying cry of kinds, because it offers you a reason more powerful than anything else to make the shame go away. In my mind the partnership that O'Brien is discussing, between shame and courage is usually that the shame in life can help you grow courage if you are using, like involved 3, input it away and let it develop. These little functions of heroism that could even seem to be like stupidity sometimes, though however, not stupidity in the sense of shooting yourself in the feet or injuring yourself in different ways, but it is these acts of heroism that will grow your courage.

After reading the section entitled "Speaking of Courage" and then getting type of an analysis in "Notes", the result is in fact quite powerful. I felt as though what O'Brien experienced explained in "Notes" about some parts being fraudulent and others real, couldn't take away from the empathy which i had developed with Norman. I believe since some parts needed to be fabricated, it actually managed to get more connectable mainly in the sense you have a character in a town that takes you along and makes you feel what he is being through him reliving the recollections. He previously to keep pondering to himself because no person acquired let him just spill his guts, and it's just an emotion mixture of loneliness and shame. The sensation of shame of "'The real truth, ' Norman Bowker would've said, 'is I let the man go. '" (O'Brien, 147). My understanding actually doesn't change for the storyline. The key parts are completely there and they are backed up by amazingly life-like storytelling, a town it doesn't feel much at home, and being together with the thoughts of the type as he relives one of is own most shameful moments. With "Notes" after it, the subject matter of precisely how lost Norman was sense that late night on July 4th as he drove throughout the lake becomes painfully clear, "[O'Brien] received a long, disjointed letter where Bowker described the situation of finding a significant use for his life following the warfare. " (O'Brien, 149). This actuality be sure Mr. O'Brien put into the first few paragraphs of "Notes" really struck home what troops which come home from the battle filled up with shame and confusion really endure. For me personally "Speaking of Courage" really was sealed to be completely true in my mind when Mr. O'Brien said "'Speaking of Courage' was written in 1975 at the suggestion of Norman Bowker, who 3 years later hanged himself in the locker room of the YMCA in his hometown in central Iowa. " (O'Brien, 149). I believe Norman finding yourself committing suicide in the end of his pain and suffering finally got to him, fit with how "Speaking of Courage" concluded, with him deciding that, . "It was a fairly good show. " (O'Brien 148), it was this easing of pain that he wanted so terribly after witnessing his best ally and comrade drown while he just stood and essentially watched helplessly, that made him opt to hang up himself. Overall I feel that Mr. O'Brien really made me appreciate "Speaking of Courage" by which makes it believable with just the powerful simplicity of the complicated feelings Norman was experiencing. It had been this ease that made it so easy and believable to be Norman, and feel what he was sensing. His narration of the reasoning behind how he received the theory also added to the authenticity because he attempted to make it acoustics as if Norman was sharing with his story, perfectly relaying what he thought at every revolution around that lake.

WORKS CITED

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. Print.

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