Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Negative Effects of War Essay

In â€Å"How to Tell a True War Story,† Tim O’Brien presents many themes within his story. One major theme is the negative effects of war on a soldier. Many situations arise in the story that bring out the theme to make it easy to understand for the reader. The effects of war can be very harmful to a soldier’s life, and he or she can be scarred forever. When Bob Kiley’s friend, Curt Lemon, dies at the beginning of the story, Kiley takes the time to write Lemon’s sister. He wrote about what a good guy Lemon was and the many adventures that he took. Kiley explained that Lemon was a dare devil and a soldier that loved what he did. Bob Kiley did not have to write to his friend’s sister at all, but he did it out of kindness. He poured his heart out into the letter because he wanted his friend’s sister to understand what a great guy he was. O’Brien’s narrator tells the reader that, â€Å"[h]e says he loved the guy. He says the guy was his best friend in the world. They were like soul mates, he says, like twins or something, they had a whole lot in common† (O’Brien 347). Kiley went into detail about some events, but he wanted this girl to know everything. He sent the letter and he waited for two months for one in return. She never sent Bob Kiley a letter back and he got upset. The negative effects of war made him go into detail about the story and that may have made the sister not write him. When a soldier sends a letter to someone, all they want is one in return. It makes them feel good when they know someone is at home thinking about them too. War can make a soldier feel alone and having someone to write to can make them feel wanted. Kiley felt alone and used when he did not get a letter in return. He wrote the letter out of kindness and all he wanted was a thank you from the girl. If she would have sent Kiley a letter in return he would have felt better about himself. When Curt Lemon died, the story portrays his death three different times. Each time his death is told it is told in different ways. Curt Lemon’s death was caused by a booby-trap buried in the ground. The story portrays him floating into the sunlight through the trees. The negative effects of war can cause soldiers to remember someone’s death in detail. They remember him being blown into pieces as he was killed. Remembering vivid details about someone else’s death can cause disturbing flashbacks in a soldier’s life. The death of Curt Lemon caused Bob Kiley to take out his frustration on a baby water buffalo. When they stopped to rest for the night Kiley takes an unexpected turn and shoots the buffalo in the leg. He continuously tortures the animal, as the others soldiers watch in disbelief. O’Brien’s narrator tells the reader that, â€Å"[t]he whole platoon stood there watching, feeling all kinds of things, but there wasn’t a great deal of pity for the baby water buffalo† (O’Brien 352). The buffalo takes the torture and never reacts. The negative effects of war caused Bob Kiley to do something that no one could ever believe doing. He lost his best friend, so he took his pain out on the water buffalo. Any soldier in their right mind would have enough sense not to kill an animal, but the negative effects of war can change people. Kiley will never be the same because of the things he had to endure during his time of duty. War can change a soldier in many ways. They may go home and never be the same as before they left. Often, soldiers will tell stories, but they will not be entirely true. O’Brien’s narrator tells the reader that, â€Å"[i]n war you lose your sense of the definite, hence your sense of truth itself, and therefore it’s safe to say that in a true war story nothing much is ever very true† (O’Brien 354). The negative effects of war can be very harmful to a soldier’s life.

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