Army Essay

1340 words - 5 pages

In Pharaoh's Army by Tobias Wolff is a war memoir that shares Wolff's experiences as a US Army officer in the Vietnam War. Similar to E.B Sledge in Good Bye To All That, who was a U.S Marine that fought in Japan during world war two, these memoir's gives the pain suffered during this difficult period of time in their lives. E.B sledge went through numerous obstacles to enlisted in the Marine Corps, similar to Wolff In Pharaoh's Army joining the military to be involved in something major that will make them feel like they are somebody and by challenging their manhood.

After flunking out of school, eighteen-year-old Wolff, was searching for meaning in his life similar to Sledge where he flunked out at Marion Military Institute on purpose of fear that the war would end before he got a chance to enter and was looking for something that was missing in their life that school couldn't provide a quest for adventure Tobias was a naïve soldier at first very cheerful this caused resentment towards him from rookie and veteran soldiers Wolff recalls a ship mechanic hating him "why did he hate me? He may have felt-I might have made him feel-that I was a tourist here, that my life would not be defined, as his had been, by years of hard labor"(Wolff pg.39)this quote showed the confusion he had with why his fellow soldiers hated him and his conclusion on why the soldiers hated him.

Already feeling like a loser for dropping out of school he didn't want to fail at being a soldier after a few mess up by almost killing himself by falling asleep almost getting mutilated and killed by a propeller if he wouldn't have woken up earlier this few mistakes almost cost him his life, making him take the military more serious. After these events that made him grow up Wolff became the best soldier he could be during the war.

Wolff explains how many ways you can die in Vietnam such as minefields, snipers, guerrillas, and even the south Vietnamese soldiers who he felt you couldn’t trust them just as much as the northern Vietnamese soldiers similar to Sledge who did basic training and felt it prepared him for war because during his time in war, these new weapons were being introduced that added more ways to die in War World Two Wolff got shot at so much that he didn’t really considered gun fire a close call any more his biggest fear were mines that made him paranoid because the mines were disintegrating soldiers with no chance of survival he placed sandbags under him just to make him feel safer even if it really didn’t work to save his life.

Wolff’s and Sledges childhood was quite different even though they both had many similarities to why they joined the military. Sledge had a more conservative childhood where his father was a physician who attended University of Pennsylvania his mother was very conservative and religious. His father taught him how to hunt and take care of himself in nature that would later help Sledge during the war.

Wolff’s childhood was different...

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