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Research Paper 2014

1071 words - 5 pages

A war has been raging in the jungle and rice paddies of Vietnam. Many have died
from other people and mines. Tim O'Brien was born in the time known as the baby boom. The babies born in this time, when they were older, ended up fighting in the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War lasted for eighteen years (1956-1975)(Smith 1). O'Brien wrote "Where Have You Gone Charming Billy" in 1975 to protest against the war. The military draft rarely happens, so when it happened for the Vietnam War everyone was surprised. Many did not want to join, which caused mass protests against a war we didn't have to enter. In the story, Paul Berlin is the main character. When he first arrives in Vietnam, he watches one ...view middle of the document...

People are still being killed and injured from mines that haven't exploded yet. "Billy Boy stepped on the mine, and how it made a tiny little sound—poof" (O'Brien 3). Billy Boy stepping on this mine signifies how simple it was to hurt yourself from these mines.
Another important part of the theme is the mood. The mood was from sad to scary to stressful. The mood is very important in this story because it builds upon the characters and the story. The reason it builds is from talking about the intensity of the war to these people. In the war the reason it is very frightening. You are scared for your life and where and how death will happen. "He was scared he was gonna die" (O'Brien). Billy in the story after getting his foot blown off was scared about dying so much he gave himself a heart attack. "The bizarre episode will become the basis for a "good joke""(Wilhelm 1). Billy's death was a funny joke to Paul Berlin. The reason it was so funny was he had what seemed to be early stages of PTSD. Secondly, war is very stressful because you don't know when your time is up. "So he walked carefully, counting his steps. When he had counted to 3,485, the column stopped" (O'Brien). Paul Berlin would count his steps to forget about the war. "Including the mind-numbing rituals of battle"(Smith 1). This states that once you are in a war, the battlefield is never out of your mind.
In the story, characterization is used in such great ways it makes the characters seem like they have come to life. Characters such as Paul Berlin and Billy Boy Watkins. Paul Berlin is one of the main characters in the story and a great example of a soldier in the Vietnam War. Paul however seems to be going crazy by the end of the story. "He giggled louder—he could not stop" (O'Brien 3). This showed that he let his mind take over and couldn't control himself...

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