Ambush, By Tim O'brien Essay

1420 words - 6 pages

Inevitably, there comes a point in everybody’s life at which they have an experience that completely alters their view of the world. This moment is when one loses his or her innocence, or comes of age, and he or she realizes that they do not live in a utopian Golden Age. Parents are charged with the monumental duty of protecting their children’s innocence, but everybody inescapably grows up. This experience can be anything from an embarrassing situation at school to coming within seconds of death. In the short story “Ambush” by Tim O’Brien, the author tells the true story of his daughter confronting him and asked him if he had ever killed anyone. In an effort to be a good parent and protect the nine-year-old’s innocence, the author does not share with her the story he goes on to tell to the reader. He explains how many years ago, he was serving in the army and was taking a shift guarding his troop’s campsite when all of a sudden, a young man from the opposing army came walking up the trail. Without a second thought, O’Brien killed the boy with a grenade, and he lost his innocence after realizing he had killed a defenseless man without hesitation. Tim O’Brien develops Ambush as a coming of age story through the use of literary devices.
The author uses a lengthy exposition to explain how he lost his innocence many years ago. When his daughter ambushes him with her statement, “…I guess you must’ve killed somebody,” he simply replies with, “Of course not” (131). However, he then details for the reader his experience of throwing a grenade and killing an enemy soldier from back when he was in the military. This story is Ambush’s exposition – when an author provides the reader with necessary background information. Tim O’Brien summarizes his exposition by saying, “He was a short, slender man of about twenty. I was afraid of him – afraid of something – and as he passed me on the trail I threw a grenade at his feet and killed him.” This background information is significant because it shows how the author remembers the experience extremely clearly, and it still haunts him to this day. The moment of one’s loss of innocence is not something he or she forgets very easily. It additionally shows how prior to killing the man, the author was able to see a more human side of the soldier as he threw the grenade, and he especially noticed his young age. Before his innocence was lost, he could not fully understand the dehumanizing effects of war, and he regretted not sparing the defenseless man’s life. He also is trying to convince himself that what he did was not so bad – he was afraid of something – because he knows in his heart that what he did to the man was cruel. The author lost his innocence at this moment when he realized that in war, humans are not treated like humans, and helpless people die without anyone giving their lives a second thought. The exposition, which accounted for the majority of the story, perfectly illustrated how the...

Find Another Essay On Ambush, by Tim O'Brien

The Things They Carried by Tim O'brien

1826 words - 7 pages into intrapersonal and emotional repercussions of warfare that only a story written by one of the war’s own can be properly crafted. Works Cited Conley, Dalton, and Jennifer Heerwig. United States. National Bureau of Economic Research. War at Home: Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service on Post-War Household Stabilty. Cambridge, MA: , 2011. Web. O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Print. Interview by

The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien

1114 words - 4 pages In retrospect chapter one demonstrates how Tim O’Brien and the other soldiers were influenced by the Vietnam War, many of the soldiers had to face the burdens of war, the lost of innocents and the sexual yearning for women. One of the fundamental themes introduced in the first few pages of the novel was the burdens many of soldiers encounter during the war. The soldiers in the novel carried some remarkably heavy physical and emotional

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

1115 words - 4 pages The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien “The Things They Carried” was a story about soldiers caught in the confusion of the Vietnam War. There are a lot of apparent themes that are dealt with when writing a story about war, especially about death. I enjoyed reading this story; however there were some things about it that I was concerned about. I would like to discuss the author’s style of writing, his meaning of the title “The Things They

Themes Within "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

1182 words - 5 pages Tim O'Brien, author and veteran, covers several multiple in his novel The Things They Carried. The book bases itself on the psychological strain caused by the stress and conflicting interests in the war. O'Brien wants us to see what he's afraid to look back at. Story truth is his way of facing the confronting the past and admitting his responsibility in it. O'Brien tells his stories from a constant gush of memories. Emotions and morals are among

"In the Lake of the Woods" By Tim O'Brien

693 words - 3 pages " 'Hey Sorcerer,' Weatherby said. The guy started to smile, but Sorcerer shot him." What kind of dark situations could entice a man to shoot a comrade? This is what Tim O'Brien suggests in his novel, In the Lake of the Woods. As O'Brien previous works also have presented, this book deals a lot with Vietnam and the seemingly dark consequences that can distort reality for veterans. He speaks of the reaction of a broken man whose wife runs off, and

"The Things They Carried" by Tim O'brien (analysis paper)

821 words - 3 pages "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien was about the soldiers' life before and after the war. They all came in fresh, "green" and then left with a dirty stain that could never be washed. Some didn't even have a chance to leave. With the Hemingway's style writing, O'Brien gave the reader a shockingly visceral sense of what it felt like to march through a booby trapped jungle, carrying pounds of supplies with the constantly fear of getting shot

The Truth Within: "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

699 words - 3 pages do, I guess, is make things present."(180)Talking about the war stories in the manner O'Brien does, even if they are not true, was a way of saving the soldiers lives and keeping the dead alive as well. By telling stories about the soldiers that died, was their way of not dealing with the loss and keeping their spirits alive. They would tell stories to each other about a certain soldier who had died, but the story they would tell was like if that

The Thing They Carried By Tim O'Brien - Essay

768 words - 4 pages for the death of an innocent men because he was mainly centered on Martha. In conclusion, the responsibility of Lieutenant Jimmy Cross regarding the sadly death of Ted Lavender was immense. He caused the death on an innocent men who was under his responsibility. He did not took the necessary steps to ensure the security of his men because he was obsessed with a platonic love. In addition, the short story “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien was interesting because of how detailed and descriptive is. Works Cited The Thing They Carried By Tim O'Brien

Overview: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

1932 words - 8 pages The Things They Carried is a novel written by Vietnam Veteran Tim O’Brien. The Vietnam War took place between 1955 and 1975. Most of the soldiers fighting were young teenage men around the age of eighteen and nineteen years old. Like O’Brien many of these young men were pulled away from their families and life to fight a war they didn’t approve of or even know about. This had a strong affect on most of these men and O’Brien uses different ways

Women and Their Role in The Things They Carried by Tim O'brien

1134 words - 5 pages , Kathleen and Linda. They were essential in showing the key parts in O’Brien’s life that lead to the turning points which lead to the creation of this novel and his ability to be at peace with what had happened in Vietnam. He finally accepted what ad happened and embraced it instead of avoiding it. Works Cited Novel O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.Print.

An oral Expose, on how does war create peace in "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

1249 words - 5 pages more at peace. Tim O'Brien creates peace within his book or war by showing the particular story of Mary Anne, by using his style in describing that war wasn't only about killing, by showing that those soldiers only feel at peace during the war and by reaching death they also reached eternal peace.The best example of an individual that found peace during the war, during all those fights is Marry Anne. She came to Vietnam as a peaceful girl, she

Similar Essays

The Things They Carried By Tim O'brien

1497 words - 6 pages Tim O’Brien wrote the novel The Things They Carried in 1990, twenty years after the war in Vietnam.In the novel,Obrien takes us through the life of many soliders by telling stories that do not go in chronical order. In doing so we get to see the physical and mental things the soldiers carry throughout the war in Vietnam.Yet the novel is more than just a description of a particular war. In the things they carried Tim O’Brien develops the

The Man I Killed, By Tim O'brien

1677 words - 7 pages people, with the war providing the background ("Rising Star Tim O'Brien"). Even though his experience as a soldier in Vietnam had to do a lot in becoming a writer, since he was a young boy he liked to read and write. Both his parents were bibliophiles so this became a great influence in him. By the age at 9, he had started writing his own stories ("Rising Star Tim O'Brien"). According to O'Brien the Vietnam War was a war of incredible ambiguity

"The Things They Carried," By Tim O'brien

654 words - 3 pages THE THINGS THEY CARRIEDIn his book "The Things They Carried," Tim O'Brien describes a group of soldiers marching through Vietnam. He does this by describing the items that each of them carries with him during the march. The things that the soldiers carry with them are both tangible and intangible items and what these things are depends upon the individual soldier. They carry the basic necessities for survival and the bare minimum to make life as

The Things They Carried By Tim O'brien

1913 words - 8 pages he did not truly understand the gravity of the situation. Some of the statements that Tim makes can be directly attributed to the feelings O’Brien had about war. For example when he witnesses how the soldiers move in the jungles of Vietnam he stated “They moved like mules. By daylight they took sniper fire, at night they were mortared, but it was not battle, it was just the endless march, village to village, without purpose, nothing won or lost