I Am the Grass

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Jud Harris
English 101
Instructor Mrs. Willis
Essay 3
29 March 2011
Life Changes in a Soldier in Daly Walker’s “I Am the Grass”
War creates many different versions of a person after being a soldier. A person can become stronger and more focused on the important things in his or her life. Most people come back changed more for the worse though. War can make a person paranoid, cold and withdrawn. The Vietnam War is the most well known for this fact. The war also can make a person learn about life. Thus in Daly Walker’s “I Am the Grass,” the narrator deals with the struggles of life from coming home after the war in Vietnam, finding something to do with his time and life, and returning to Vietnam. In Walker’s “I Am the Grass,” the narrator learns that returning is not what he had in mind. The narrator is not greeted by anyone. He does not have his own welcome party like the other people. The narrator knew that “soldiers in uniform were taunted in the streets by flower children” (Walker 315). Therefore, not wanting to be taunted or draw attention to the fact that he is a soldier, he slips into the bathroom and changes out of his dress khakis into jeans and a flannel shirt. The narrator feels like “an exile in my own country” and also feels “deceived and confused and most of all angry” (Walker 316). The narrator is unsure what to do about his feelings and instead just starts forming his life day by day. Struggling to find something to do with his free time, the narrator starts forming a new life in Walker’s “I Am the Grass.” The narrator, unsure of what to do, drifts from one job after another not finding solace in any of them. He “studied drawing at an art academy, cut grass with the grounds crew at Soldier Field, parked cars at the Four Seasons” and nothing seems to make him happy (Walker 316). He did not find happiness until he started taking care of patients at a hospital. This happiness inspires the narrator to apply to medical school. He gets accepted....
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