WrTamara M. Newton
Question: How could the text be read and interpreted by two different readers?
In 1990, Tim Obrien, decided to share his poignant story with the world, converting all his Vietnamese War experiences into a book called: The things they carried. Through one of his chapters, On the Rainy River, were Obrien is illustrated as a young man who has received a draft notice, and has two choices, go to war and be a “hero” or scape from responsibilities and be remembered as a coward, a clear dispute arises. By using the chapter On the Rainy River from the book The things they carried, two different interpretations can be seen; a boy in high school would depict Obrien as a coward for not standing up for his country and a young soldier would sympathize with him and understand his position.
To put this into context, it is necessary to give a brief summary of the chapter. To begin with, Obrien depicts this chapter as a breaking point in his life. It is here, were he decides what becomes of him in the future. Feeling judged by invisible eyes, Obrien decides that is of pivotal importance to go to war, because otherwise he would have skedaddle throughout his life and would have to carry the burden of being a coward. It is also in this chapter were the author surrenders to humiliation and goes to war, and its at this point in the book where a moment of cowardice on the authors behalf is shown, even though he ended up going to war.
Furthermore it is understandable that Obrien openly shares his exploits because in order for him to transmit his message, he would have to boldly illustrate his experiences and even more so in crucial chapters, such as On the Rainy River.
When Obrien states, "The day was cloudy. I passed through towns with familiar names, through the pine forests and `down to the prairie, and then to Vietnam, where I was a soldier, and then home again. I survived, but it's not a happy ending. I was a coward. I went to the...
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