Literary Analysis- I Am the Grass

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Facing a War with Himself
Traumatized, regretful, and full of guilt; Dally Walker writes about a doctor who returns from the Vietnam war with memories so horrific, he is not able to talk to his wife or family about it. From the day of his arrival home, he returns feeling disgusted with himself and his actions. Twenty two years have passed since his arrival from the war he continues to think of everything that happened. The story beings with him speaking of the great love for his wife and daughter, a love so great that he cannot bring himself to show them the person he once was. A man who feels he is two people at once, fighting with himself is trying to continue his life but is constantly reminded of the years he spent at war and all of those terrible things he did. Dealing with as much as he did in Vietnam, he engaged in drugs, alcohol and sex to try and suppress the memories. Feeling angry deceived and confused he tries to continue his life as a plastic surgeon fixing the superficial needs of people like facelifts and tummy tucks. Wanting to do more with his life in order to try and forget, he begins working with a program that helps repair children born with cleft lips. The decision to help these children symbolizes the guilt he feels and his way of trying to heal the wound time alone cannot heal. Once in Ho Cho Minh City, where he will be working with Operation Smiles, all of the memories he tries so hard to forget being to come back. Being in the place that affected him the way it did was very difficult for him. The day after his arrival he is scheduled to meet Dr. Lieh Viet Dinh, the doctor in charge of the Operation Smiles organization, to discuss what he will be doing. Uneasy and unsure about how Dr. Dinh will react when he learns that he was a soldier in the Vietnam War, he joins him for a dinner. When they begin to talk, he learns that during the war Dr. Dinh was tortured during the war and his thumbs were cut off. The missing thumbs represent the...
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