This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

War Trauma In Selected Novels Of Tim O'brien And Larry Heinemann

2646 words - 11 pages

Review of Literature
The theory of trauma that will be highlighted in this study has been discussed in many books, journals and theses. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror by Judith Herman (1992) explores trauma and puts individual experience in a broader political frame, arguing that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context. The book also documents and uses the victims’ own words to change the way we think about and treat traumatic events and trauma victims. John Fletcher's book Freud and the Scene of Trauma (2013) helps to explain the affinity that Freud had felt between psychoanalysis and literature and the ...view middle of the document...

A. thesis which discusses trauma in Tim O' Briens novel The Things They Carried. "Trauma and the Fantastic in Twentieth Century War Fiction" (2010) by Michael Horton in the University of Missouri discusses trauma theory and the effects of combat trauma in different novels including Tim O' Brien's Going After Cacciato.
Statement of the Problem
Trauma studies' growth can be attributed to its exposure of the significant long-term effects of traumatic experience on individuals. In highlighting the suffering of various groups of marginalized peoples (for example, oppressed women, war veterans, victims of genocide, the sexually or physically abused, and the terminally ill), trauma studies draw attention to those whom are often forgotten. It highlights the importance of addressing the pain of wounds to the psyche in order for individuals and collective groups to recover. Cathy Caruth argues that trauma, rather than separating and dividing different peoples, "trauma itself may provide the very link between cultures" ("Trauma and Experience" 11). Petar Ramadanovic claims that literature is uniquely placed to perform such a task:
What makes literature into the privileged…site of trauma is the fact that literature as an art form can contain and present an aspect of experience which was not experienced or processed fully. Literature, in other words, because of its sensible and representational character, because of its figurative language, is a channel and a medium for a transmission of trauma which does not need to be apprehended in order to be present in a text or…in order to be witnessed. (19).
Literature is central to trauma studies because it is a key mode to which trauma victims frequently take recourse in order to process their experiences. Furthermore, the intersection of trauma and fiction offers new avenues for the literary imagination. Anne Whitehead writes in her book Trauma Fiction that:
Fiction itself has been marked or changed by its encounter with trauma. Novelists have frequently found that the impact of trauma can only adequately be represented by mimicking its forms and symptoms, so that temporality and chronology collapse, and narratives are characterized by repetition and indirection. Trauma fiction overlaps with and borrows from both postmodern and postcolonial fiction in its self-conscious deployment of stylistic devices as modes of reflection or critique. (3)
This suggests that literature may provide a valuable imaginary space for those who wish to explore the traumatic experiences of others and their impact on society.
Trauma is closely connected to traumatic memory, which influences narrative in many ways. Narratives of the Vietnam War were mostly written by soldiers who experienced and witnessed traumatic events in times of combat, which, in turn, made them severely traumatized. Marilyn Blatt Young, in her book The Vietnam Wars 1945 –1990 ( 1991) states that at least sixty thousand veterans have committed suicide...

Find Another Essay On War Trauma in Selected Novels of Tim O'Brien and Larry Heinemann

An oral Expose, on how does war create peace in "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

1249 words - 5 pages more at peace. Tim O'Brien creates peace within his book or war by showing the particular story of Mary Anne, by using his style in describing that war wasn't only about killing, by showing that those soldiers only feel at peace during the war and by reaching death they also reached eternal peace.The best example of an individual that found peace during the war, during all those fights is Marry Anne. She came to Vietnam as a peaceful girl, she

humanistic therapy of war trauma Essay

1782 words - 7 pages The Behavioral approach to therapy has several types of therapies, these include Covert Sensitization and Flooding. Covert sensitization is a process whereby the a client is taught to associate an undesirable behavior with unpleasant sensations, the main aim being to decrease desire for the negative behavior such that the client avoids the same scenario in the future (Cautella & Kearney, 1986). When covert sensitization is employed, the

humanistic treatment of war trauma

1782 words - 7 pages The Behavioral approach to therapy has several types of therapies, these include Covert Sensitization and Flooding. Covert sensitization is a process whereby the a client is taught to associate an undesirable behavior with unpleasant sensations, the main aim being to decrease desire for the negative behavior such that the client avoids the same scenario in the future (Cautella & Kearney, 1986). When covert sensitization is employed, the

"The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien: Veterans, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, War

906 words - 4 pages . She was my life because I had no life before her. But even though she is gone, the idea still lives. The idea that you can live a life; a happy life. That you don't need to follow the absent-minded routine of all the others.Clarisse McClellan believed people should embrace life and live it to the fullest extent. The society she lived in didn't believe this' they told her she was weird and anti-social just because she was different.Clarisse ended up

The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien STUDY NOTES about "In The Field" - includes details about the plot, characters, themes, key quotes and links to other stories

597 words - 2 pages like. Eg: "...the war is full of freaks..."... "The exact truth." (173)Memories: - Tim remembers some of the events of last night yet can't remember others.Key Quotes:'[Kiowa] was under the mud and water, folded in with the war.' - (163)"The filth seemed to erase identities, transforming the men into identical copies of a single soldier..." (164)"... it was a mistake and a hideous waste." (164)"...they wanted to...forget what happened during the

Physical And Emotional Burdens Carried. The Things They Carried. -Tim O'Brien

824 words - 4 pages memories of their fallen friends and fellow soldiers. They find different ways to grieve over the fallen soldiers, but never do forget them. Like O'Brien says, "The thing about remembering, is that you don't forget." (33).These young men fighting for their country in Vietnam are extremely brave. War is a really hard thing for non-soldiers to comprehend when you start to talk about the stories of what happened when they are just marching around the

"The Weight of the Things Carried" Book: "The Things They Carried" Author: Tim O'Brien

1168 words - 5 pages In the book titled, The Things They Carried, the author, Tim O' Brien, depicts a world where traumatic memories and crushing emotional baggage are far heavier than any combat pack or assortment of weapons that has ever burdened the back of a soldier. The author, O'Brien, explores the physical and emotional burdens that the soldiers of the Vietnam War "hump" or carry with them. The author portrays the things the soldiers carry throughout the

Trauma and Recovery in Art

1178 words - 5 pages exploring Francisco J. Varela's ideas of the portable laboratory. He said, “Human beings in their embedded, situated life, constitute a de facto topographical place (the body, the self) where procedures and gestures can be carried out to directly explore the human experience itself (the quest).”2 In my practice, I seek to explore both the physical and psychological aspects trauma and healing. I look to other artists for inspiration and

The Elusiveness of War and the Tenuousness of Morality in Tim O?Brien?s ?The Things They Carried,? ?How to Tell a True War Story,? and ?Style?

636 words - 3 pages The Elusiveness of War and the Tenuousness of Morality in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” “How to Tell a True War Story,” and “Style”      In the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien demonstrates how exposure to the atrocities of nations at war leads to the soldiers having skewed perspectives on what is right and wrong, predominantly at times when the purpose of the war itself appears elusive. The

Trauma for Soldiers in "The Things They Carried" by Tim O’Brien

888 words - 4 pages Trauma can be defined as something that repeats itself. In The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, trauma recurs in soldiers for different reasons. However, although their reasons for trauma are different, the things they carried can symbolize all the emotions and pasts of these soldiers. One man may suffer trauma from looking through letters and photographs of an old lover, while another man could feel trauma just from memories of the past

The Invisible Trauma of War Exposed in All Quiet on the Western Front

1264 words - 5 pages Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, transpires in the trenches of the Nazi Western Front, which is protected by the young German soldiers World War I. Paul Bäumer, the narrator; enters the war under pressure to enlist; goes to the front and learns about the brutality of war. Paul witnesses the extreme violence that defines war during his time spent on the Western Front. Bäumer and his cronies learn to except the war as

Similar Essays

"In The Lake Of The Woods" By Tim O'brien

693 words - 3 pages " 'Hey Sorcerer,' Weatherby said. The guy started to smile, but Sorcerer shot him." What kind of dark situations could entice a man to shoot a comrade? This is what Tim O'Brien suggests in his novel, In the Lake of the Woods. As O'Brien previous works also have presented, this book deals a lot with Vietnam and the seemingly dark consequences that can distort reality for veterans. He speaks of the reaction of a broken man whose wife runs off, and

Women And Their Role In The Things They Carried By Tim O'brien

1134 words - 5 pages , Kathleen and Linda. They were essential in showing the key parts in O’Brien’s life that lead to the turning points which lead to the creation of this novel and his ability to be at peace with what had happened in Vietnam. He finally accepted what ad happened and embraced it instead of avoiding it. Works Cited Novel O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.Print.

Death Of Loved Ones In The Things They Carried By Tim O'brien

1549 words - 7 pages after a while. Tim also deals with guilt another way. He writes stories. Writing his war stories is a way that he copes with the guilt that war places on a soldier. One particular case where Tim writes a story to cope with his guilt is the story “”Speaking of Courage.” The story is about Norman Bowker. Norman is driving around a lake in his home town. He is thinking about Kiowa’s death and how he had a chance to save him but he let him go. Norman

How To Tell A True War Story B Tim O'brien

1444 words - 6 pages In the text, “How to Tell a True War Story” Tim O’Brien expresses his thoughts about the true war story and how the war story is changed according to the person who tells it. Jon Krakauer illustrates Chris McCandless’s journey to the Alaskan wilderness and reasons for McCandless’s gruesome death in an isolated place, in his book “Into the Wild.” O’Brien relates introspection and a soldier’s war story by saying that the war story portrays the