Dear America: Cherries Essay

Topics: Mind, Thought, Complaint Pages: 2 (499 words) Published: April 13, 2013
In “Cherries” the soldiers are primarily concerned with trivial issues. Discuss. The starting chapter of the anthology of letters titled ‘Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam’ is named ‘Cherries: First Impressions’, referring to the young, fresh soldiers and the stories of their beginnings in the war. Throughout this epistolic collection the soldiers largely think about and concern themselves with trivial and insignificant issues. Some of the soldiers complain about long flights, unsatisfying food and the weather throughout this chapter to their family and friends. They are mostly young men and new to this kind of experience so they mostly have not yet practiced invasions, wounds, killings, even firing their first guns. “It was 100 [degrees] yesterday, and it sure baked me like a lobster” and “I haven’t even fired a shot” reinforces the idea that the soldiers are inexperienced compared to older soldiers that have been through a range of war experiences and therefore only have thoughts and worries about ‘petty’ and small valued things as opposed to life and death situations. When soldiers are faced with life and death situations, “If I didn’t get them, they would have gotten me or someone else” and their instincts would kick in and they would forget out mosquito bites and wet clothes and focus on the job at hand; “Self-preservation”, some would call it. Through these letters, the soldiers are distracting themselves from the disasters of the war, but at the same time being cautious of what they write and who hears it. ‘Don’t tell mom’ is used throughout a lot of these letters as protection of themselves, but mostly protection of the ones they love the most. Those they’re writing to from the truth of the bad situation, which they are away fighting a war they do not necessarily want to fight. Family, especially parents, and friends would be concerned that their sons and friends could lose sight of who they were before the war. Their young, impressionable minds...
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