Tim O'brien Essay

1677 words - 7 pages

Tim O’Brien
“Intellect had run up against emotion. My conscience told me to run, yet some irrational and powerful force was resisting, like a weight pushing me toward the war. What it came to, stupidly, was a sense of shame. Hot, stupid shame. I did not want people to think badly of me.” (Tim O’Brien; On the Rainy River).
Tim O’Brien is a twentieth- century author, he was born October 1 1946 in Minnesota. After O’Brien graduated from Worthington College, he received his draft papers for Vietnam. O’Brien served as a ‘foot soldier’ from February 1969 to March 1970. He was awarded the rank of sergeant and received the Purple Heart after sustaining a grenade wound. After serving O’Brien went onto graduate school at Harvard University, where is received an internship at the Washington Post. O’Brien’s writing career took off in 1973 when he released If I Die In A Combat Zone, Box Me Up And Ship Me Home, the book was about his experiences at war. Although it is not all rainbows and butterflies, O’Brien experienced depression, and personal desperation approaching suicide, without his army friends he felt alone and scared. He called himself a coward, a deserter of conscience, for not defying the draft. Luckily O’Brien found happiness when his wife Meredith gave birth to their two sons, Timmy, and Tad.
I am pretty sure when the president of the United States and the people in the Pentagon decided to send their troops to fight in Vietnam, they did not think that the veterans would write, and would become a famous literature writer. (Zins)
Tim O’Brien holds a unique ability to show the realities of everyday life for many veterans. When you listen to him speak you get a feel of what it is like to be a soldier at war, not only mentally, but spiritually and psychologically. O’Brien helps inform students today who do not have the full understanding of what war is like, that many college students in Vietnam War time period had. In June, it was announced that O'Brien would be the 2013 recipient of the ‘Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing’, the first time in the history of the award that a fiction writer has won the prize of $100,000. O'Brien received the award at a banquet in his honor on November 16 in Chicago. (Chronicle). His books have sold more than 3 million copies. One of the stories in ‘The Things They Carried’, called "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong," was made into a film for Showtime in 1998, titled A Soldier's Sweetheart.
O’Brien and his family put on magic shows, it takes a couple weeks to prepare for one. But he enjoys doing it and spending time with his family. They have been doing it for many years, there are nice people in the show, that includes him, his wife, a psychiatrist friend, and some of O’Brien former students. They have been practicing for their big show, they’ve been working on these three shows for the past six months. (O’Brien)
O’Brien says that the way he formulates...

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