If I Die In A Combat Zone

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If I Die in a Combat Zone tells the personal story of author Tim O’Brien’s experiences as a soldier in the Vietnam War. The novel not only focuses on the daily events from face to face combat to hiding in fox holes, but it also follows O’Brien’s thought process from the moment he was drafted on. In If I Die in a Combat Zone, author Tim O’Brien argued that the Vietnam War was not only devastating in the physical effects but also in the mental effects it had on those fighting through his depictions of day to day events, how the soldier’s reaction to these events evolve, and soldier’s experiences of battling an internal struggle of right v. wrong.
O’Brien demonstrates both the physical and mental effects the Vietnam war had on its soldiers through
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wrong he experiences during his time as a member of the military. From the moment he is drafted, O’Brien is against the war. He knows it is his duty to go to the Vietnam and fight for his country, but at the same time he makes obscene posters in his basement declaring the war, the draft, and his town with their support are evil (pg. 20). While talking to a Chaplain O’Brien reveals his true problem with war is not one of fighting, but one of fear and intellect and being considered a hero (pg. 56). At basic training, he participated with one hundred percent from crawling under wire to chanting along with his fellow soldiers to convince himself that he is doing the right thing. At night, however, his thoughts overtook him and plans for an escape filled his head. He had papers prepared along with a bus ticket for Canada ready. Once the opportunity came for him to escape, the thought of his country needing him to fight for them outweighed the thought of him needing to escape the evils he was participating in and he returned to basic training (pg. 67). O’Brien knew that this required courage and courage was more than just accepting the call to serve and facing the possibility of death, it was serving with his whole heart every second of his deployment (pg. 141). Yet, part of him still fought to go home, away from the …show more content…
O’Brien writes of the daily activities and hardships he faced during his service, and allows the reader to follow his most intimate feelings and thoughts. The book’s argument made by Tim O’Brien is that the soldiers in the Vietnam War were not only physically impacted by their experiences, but also mentally impacted shown through his thorough descriptions of events, evolution of thoughts, and internal battles faced between the idea of right v.

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