Tag: Michael Herr


Synthesis of select War Literature by Tim O’Brien, Ann Jones and Michael Herr

The hallmark of good literature is that it combines art with raising social consciousness. This is certainly true of the 3 classics perused for this essay. Falling into different genres like fiction, nonfiction and reportage, the three works treat the social consequences of war in their own unique ways. The rest of this essay will show how themes of love, loss, perception and reality are adequately addressed in these works.

The Things They Carried is an assortment of short stories penned by Tim O’Brien based on his first hand experiences in Vietnam. O’Brien was part of the platoon called Alpha Company, which was actively engaged in combat with the Vietnamese. As a result, though the stories contain fictitious additions, they are mostly based on real events witnessed by the author. Several themes recur through these stories. Chief among them are love, camaraderie and courage. Love is most pronounced in the relationship between Cross and Martha. Cross agrees to narrate his . . . Read More

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What was the prime motive in American intervention in Vietnam in the 1960s?

The U.S. involvement in Vietnam is a cause of embarrassment and regret to all those involved.  When John F. Kennedy started the war the fear of communism via the ‘domino effect’ was the rationale given to public.  But such fears were far from real and soon the general public got to understand the basic facts and motivations behind American intervention in Vietnam.

State apologists like Joseph Alsop took issue draft resistors or conscientious objectors to the war in Vietnam.  By a convoluted mal-use of logic, Alsop argued that resisting the draft is equivalent to supporting Soviet tyranny and totalitarianism.  But in truth, the resistors were expressing solidarity with the victims of war – the hordes of Vietnamese citizens who lost their lives for no fault of theirs.  Such dissident voices as that of boxing great Muhammad Ali made it clear that the war was illegitimate and unjust.

Journalistic dispatches from Vietnam soon proved the bitter reality of conflict . . . Read More

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