If I Die In A Combat Zone Summary

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In If I Die in a Combat Zone, author Tim O’Brien argued that the Vietnam War was unjust through his depictions of his internal struggles, the soldiers’ experiences in Vietnam, and how lives were pointlessly altered. To begin, O’Brien argued that the war was unjust through his depictions of his internal struggles. For instance, the author expressed his opposition to the war and sought counsel in an attempt to relieve his distress. When O’Brien expressed his concerns to the chaplain, the chaplain regarded him as a disturbed individual (pg. 57). When O’Brien communicated with the battalion commander, O’Brien’s concerns remained unanswered (pg. 62). Even Captain Johansen, whom O’Brien admired (pg. 144), failed to consider the politics or morality …show more content…
Local women and children would follow Alpha Company, offering services, such as cleaning weapons or digging foxholes, in exchange for rations (pg. 79). An elderly blind Vietnamese farmer allowed the soldiers to use his well, ingratiating himself with them by laughing with them and helping them bathe (pg. 99). In exchange for his hospitality, however, one of the soldiers threw a carton of milk at the old man’s face, and the old man dismissed the incident and simply smiled (pg. 100). The scene not only represents the disrespect some soldiers had for civilians but also questions the actions some of the soldiers made in the war. Furthermore, both indigenous civilians and soldiers were senselessly injured and killed in the Vietnam war. For instance, in a paddy in My Khe the foot soldiers were run over; one soldier lost his foot, another broke his leg, and another lost his life (pg. 152). Even the medics were overwhelmed by the number of victims (pg. 155). One night when mortarmen performed their ritual, the rounds fell on the lagoon’s hamlet; over thirty villagers were wounded and thirteen children were killed (pg. 168). The altering of lives, however, was clearly not necessary, for justification for the war was

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