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Immoral War Essay

2052 words - 9 pages

In a perfect world war is supposed to be an action that one country takes after they have exhausted all other options. While the causes of war may vary, they are all similar because they are supposed to eliminate the world of some type of injustice. Kate Wilhelm, author of the story “The Village,” does not accept the notion that war is required for the greater good; she instead creates a story depicting a war that seemingly has no purpose. Tim O’Brien, author of the story “How to Tell a True War Story,” also believes that there is nothing good that can come out of war. Daniel Robinson’s critique, “Getting It Right: The Short Fiction Of Tim O’Brien,” analyzes “How to Tell a True War Story” in ...view middle of the document...

O’Brien states, “The parts were just hanging there, so Dave Jensen and I were ordered to shinny up and peel him off. I remember the white bone of an arm. I remember pieces of skin and something wet and yellow that must’ve been intestines (O’Brien 79). O’Brien’s inclusion of the gruesome details of war contributes to Wilhelm’s theory that war is immoral by reproducing the same sense of disgust that Wilhelm’s descriptions of war provide. Although the inclusion of this event in not true, it still creates the experience of disgust for the readers. Moreover, Robinson’s analysis of one part of O’Brien’s story leads him to suggest that, “to stop his own pain at seeing his best friend blown up, Rat Kiley systematically dismembers a baby water buffalo by shooting pieces from its body (Robinson 259). Robinson justifies the baby water buffalo dismemberment by stating that in true war real people and real friends are lost, and he validates O’Brien’s qualification that war stories are disgusting by pointing out that many people may find various methods of coping with the stresses of war. Robinson confirms O’Brien’s theory that true war stories are disgusting by introducing how a soldier’s mental state during the hardships of war can take a toll on their rationale and lead them to commit horrendous acts. Wilhelm’s inclusion of graphic and obscene events in her story correlates with O’Brien and Robinson’s belief of the necessity for the inclusion of horrible and disgusting events in true war story; thereby proving that Wilhelm’s story and her belief that war is immoral is true.
Wilhelm’s inclusion of events that lack rationality satisfies O’Brien and Robinson’s qualification that true war stories do not have a point, which therefore proves that war lacks morality. Wilhelm’s story is littered with events that demonstrate a lack of reasoning. Perhaps the most significant is her inclusion of when, “The people were driven to the edge of town, where the highway department had dug the ditch for a culver that hadn’t been laid yet. The sergeant closed his notebook and turned away. The firing started” (Wilhelm 105). Wilhelm creates a scenario in which American citizens are being executed for no known apparent reasons. Typical Americans would be unable to fathom the prospect of mass executions, especially when done without reason. The soldiers in “The Village” are American soldiers and they never provide the American citizens with a reason for the chaos. In the perspective of the American citizens the attacks against them are unbelievable because there is no logical reason for the actions against them. The senseless violence is unjustifiable and immoral, and the lack of reasoning additionally satisfies O’Brien’s qualification that true wars stories do not have a reason. O’Brien states that, “Often in a true war story there is not even a point, or else the point doesn’t hit you until twenty years later…and when you get to the end [of the story] you’ve forgotten the...

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