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The Man I Killed By Tim O´Brien

776 words - 4 pages

The Man I Killed tells the story of a man, Tim, who killed a soldier during the Vietnam War. Tim killed this story out of obligation and not because he aspired to. After killing the Viet Cong soldier, Tim O’Brien describes himself as feeling a bit guilty and compunctious. When selected soldiers enter war such as the Vietnam War, some are capable of killing while others kill because they have a legacy to uphold. Physically, a soldier may appear strong but mentally, a solider may not meet the qualifications. The author uses many literary elements such as point of view, repetition, and setting to outline the way Tim O’Brien was really feeling.
Throughout the story, O’Brien used point of view ...view middle of the document...

The scene was illustrated as beautiful despite the gruesome death of the Viet Cong soldier. “Along the trail there were small blue flowers shaped like bells.” The author is describing how Tim felt that he took an innocent life by describing the innocent scenery in the background. As a consequence, Tim pictures all the great opportunities that the deceased soldier might have encountered after war if Tim would not have killed him. The use of setting was a clever tool O’Brien used to promote the innocence of Tim.
After the killing, Tim’s emotions started to get the best of him. The regret and remorse that he had for the situation was obvious and noticeable. After reading a detailed description of the Viet Cong soldier, it seemed as if the fictional life that Tim had created for him was a replication of his own. Tim was a scholar; the “president of the student body” and had “a full-ride scholarship for [graduate] studies at Harvard”. He depicted the same life for the soldier who would have “been in his studies”. But in fact, the dead Viet Cong soldier was somewhat similar to the man who killed him....

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