Disappearance Into The Land Essay

2215 words - 9 pages

Disappearance into the Land

‘I know it sounds far-out,’ he’d tell us, ‘but it’s not like impossible or anything. We all heard plenty of wackier stories...When she came in through the wire that night, I was right there, I saw those eyes of hers, I saw how she wasn’t even the same person no more. What’s so impossible about that? She was a girl, that’s all. I mean, if it was a guy, everybody’d say, Hey, no big deal, he got caught up in the Nam shit, he got seduced by the Greenies." (O’Brien 106-107).

War is not just a battle of one group of men versus another. Rather, it is a fight between Man and Nature. A desperate battle for survival. Will the land take you, or will you survive the horrors that lie in the darkness of night? This idea is one that is explored in Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried. This is a battle of Man vs. Nature, not only for physical survival, but one for emotional, mental, and spiritual survival. It is played out in many ways, and the attacks that are made against man are played out in various subtle manners. From a mere blending of man into nature, to the heart of the man which is lost, to the extreme of someone becoming a part of it, so lost in the war, and in the land. The battle is always fought, and man never comes away from it unscathed.

One manner in which this war is waged is in man’s blending into nature. This becomes a means of survival for the soldier in the field-- a physical blending into the land on which you wage war. In "Ambush", the character Tim O’Brien tells us about how his platoon was hiding, waiting for their enemy, "The whole platoon was there, spread out in the dense brush along the trail." (132). Then, describing the situation further, as an enemy soldier approached, he writes, "In a way, it seemed, he was part of the morning fog." (132). This was his enemy, coming out of the fog, using this feature of Nature as much as the others use the dense brush to hide themselves. A more visual image of this can be seen in the movie The Thin Red Line. As they march up the hill, the camera stays low to the ground, brushing against the grass of Guadalcanal. The men become a part of that hill, and they are safe, until they stand up, leaving the shield that nature is offering them. Additionally, in the film Enemy at the Gates, describing the battle for Stalingrad in World War II, this theme is visualized. This is an urban setting, but the same principle is applied. When Vassili is hiding in the streets, he blends with it, and the ability to distinguish man from construct becomes almost impossible. He even says, "I am stone", which further emphasizes this. In these cases, as in The Things They Carried, the land is used as a shield, as defensive mechanism to protect. Man blends in with Nature, and it becomes difficult to distinguish one from the other. The line between what is human and what is not begins to blur in looking to nature for protection. Then that line is blown to pieces, so you can’t...

Find Another Essay On Disappearance into the Land

Amelia Earhart Biography Essay

1655 words - 7 pages -and-sank theory. In other words, the Navy concluded that Earhart and Noonan knew they were running low on fuel and tried to turn southwest to reach a small island. The ability to find land was scarce, for they were out over the ocean in the middle of nowhere. Before they got to land, their plane ran out of fuel, crashed, and sank into the ocean, leaving no remnants behind (Beheim). Although that was many years ago that this theory was brought up

The Mystery of the Lost Colony

1248 words - 5 pages For centuries the disappearance of the Roanoke colonists has been one of the great mysteries in the historical community. Within the span of three years, 120 colonists disappeared from an English colony on Roanoke Island, a small piece of land off the coast of North Carolina. The evidence left behind barely gives us a clue as to what could have happened to the entire colony. With the testimony of John White, the leader of the colony that left

things fall

1163 words - 5 pages punishment and loving thy neighbor to blackmail the natives into submission. With the appearance of the British courts in Umuofia, certain religious traditions are no longer legal thus resulting in their banishment and eventual disappearance. Chinua Achebe clearly demonstrates through his literary masterpiece Things Fall Apart that the colonization of a nation can lead to the near disappearance of their cultures at the hands of the colonizers. Due to this, an interesting culture and possible discussion subject was nearly destroyed thus leading to people of that descent unsure of whom they really are.

Gender Issues in Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

2366 words - 9 pages power of naming thus operates as a gently sarcastic means of reproaching unruly husbands and of preserving female dominance over the Hollow. In the beginning of the tale Irving describes the narrator as more than simply an idle observer. He comes to the Hollow to hunt: I recollect that when a stripling, my first exploit in squirrel shooting was in a grove of tall walnut trees that shades one side of the valley. I had wandered into it

The Loss of Coastal Wetlands

733 words - 3 pages populations”(Anonymous, 2011). Coastal wetlands are an economical asset as well as an environmental one. Human activity is one of the leading causes of the disappearance of coastal wetlands. As the human population increases in coastal cities so does the demand for more land. Urbanization is causing enormous amounts of devastation to the existing wetlands. Unrestricted development is causing the erosion of soil, which is dumping foreign sediments

Life of Oedipus Rex

933 words - 4 pages achieving the rank of second in his high school class, something he was quite proud of (he became valedictorian after the mysterious disappearance of the first ranked student). Oedipus was also the only graduate of Ye Olde Greek University, home of the Minotaur’s, to reach the honor of summa cum laude (though some historians still argue he intimated his professors into giving him A’s). All-in-all Oedipus was a rather normal child, but as soon as he

Short Story

1168 words - 5 pages Short Story Once in a small cottage deep in a thickly overgrown forest there was a young boy who lived with his mother, his father and his elder sisters, two of the most beautiful girls in the whole of Ireland. This forest was different to the many others that form a blanket over this enchanted land. The young boy often quarrelled with

The Dissolution of the Monasteries

1122 words - 4 pages younger sons of landowning families who, because of the system of primogeniture would have fallen out of the social elite into which they were born. These people (especially the merchants) could now move up the social ladder, making the gap between rich and poor even greater. Some would argue that it was this enlargement of the land owning classes which resulted in England becoming a parliamentary monarchy freer form

Lord of the Flies by William Golding. This essay describes the motif of fear bringing chaos through the focal point of the disappearance of the "birth-mark" littl'un atop the mountain.

743 words - 3 pages into every child on the island with despair.So what exactly is the significance of the little boy with the birthmark? He never returns later in the novel, so why stick in a new character to the readers for just these few pages? And what exactly happened to him? Was he supposed to signify a greater force?As I read and reread this section of the novel, I couldn't help to ponder on these issues. The boy with a birthmark. Fear. The inevitability. I

The Bermuda Triangle

1193 words - 5 pages was nothing. They had no choice but to stay in the weather-beaten ship. Fortunately, the fleet of Columbus got through the plight. Yet, the first publicized disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle was actually the Flight 19. It was an afternoon in 1945, six planes had disappeared into thin air. Five U.S. Navy Avenger planes were having an ordinary training mission, which led by an experienced pilot-Taylor. At the moment the mission was almost done

Ending Destruction of the Rainforest

1797 words - 7 pages 1987, the year gold was discovered, as many as 40,000 gold miners have poured into the area of the Yanomami Indian lands. Mercury, which is used in the mining process, poisons the rivers, which in-turn affects downstream habitats and forest life. Not only do they affect the vegetation and wild life but this causes direct forest loss due to the clearing of land to establish mining projects. Roads will then be constructed through previously

Similar Essays

The Disappearance Into Conformity Essay

1086 words - 5 pages taking care of their families. However, Miss Emily’s father drove off any man that had interest in her, and after he died time seemed to stand still for her in that small town. The short story “Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, describes Goodman Brown’s encounter with the devil on his trip into the forest. In Brown’s village conformity it the only way of life, but his encounter changes him. It is up to society to decide if conformity will

Theories On The Disappearance Of Amelia Earhart

1390 words - 6 pages . government reached the same conclusion. Earhart was declared dead on January 5, 1939, 18 months after her disappearance. (History) Amelia faced many problems during her last flight. Four hours and eighteen minutes into the flight, they were already looking at stronger headwinds than expected. Due to this, she had to increase her optimum speed to 140 knots (161 mph). As a consequence, she would have to fly at a higher altitude to save fuel. However

Examination Of The Irreversible Environmental Damage Of Anthropogenic Origin

583 words - 2 pages salinity, and climate change. This process is detrimental and irreparable to the environment for it erodes the soil’s capability to sustain vegetation growth, which in effect limits potential reintroduction of organic material into the soil. An example of the effects of anthropogenic desertification is the disappearance of African Lake Chad, which was 26,000 km2 in the 1960s, and was determined to be less than 1,500 km2 in 2000, a decline which has

Endangered Species Essay

633 words - 3 pages of living things was linked to geological and climate, the effects of which were translated into major alternation of the environment. Environmental change is still the primary cause of the extinction of animals, but now the changes are greatly accelerated by humans activity. Clearing land for farms and towns, lumbering, mining, building dams, and draining wetlands all alter the environments so extensively that ecosystems may be completely