The Yellow Birds

Topics: Iraq War, Fiction, New Universe Pages: 3 (1036 words) Published: April 11, 2013
Valerie Paz

In the novel “The Yellow Birds” by Kevin Powers the story is based on a twenty-one year old soldier and his experience in the war in Iraq. The twenty-one year old man’s name is John Bartle, a survivor of the war. The novel explains about the casualties and numerous amounts of times that John is surrounded by death and decay in Al Tafar, jumping back and forth through time explaining his experiences before and after the war. This novel is a very well written story; in some ways like a riddle keeping the reader on the edge of their seats forcing them to follow the book. At some points of the story, it becomes confusing because of how casual and emotionless John is when he speaks of death. One of the most important parts of the book is how the author himself backs up the credibility of the story by actually living it.

To begin, the story takes place in a few different places such as Al Tafar, Fort Dix, Kaiserslautern, Richmond, and Fort Knox. The novels start off when John meets his new comrade named Daniel Murphy; and becomes good friends with him despite their odd differences. Although the war has different effects on everyone once they live the experience, some cannot handle it as well as others. Murphy turns out to be the weak one between the two and after spending a few months there he snaps, escapes the base and is brutally murdered by the enemies. Once deployed, John is never the same man he had been back in Virginia. The theme of this story is how the war changes ones whole perspective on life, and changes the person drastically.

In support of this, throughout the story it builds up slowly going back and forth so that the reader fully understands what is going on and how it lead to that. For example, in one chapter the reader will meet Murphy, then later on in the next chapter find out how John met Murphy. The rising action of the story begins when John mentions that nothing can save Murphy; since he was dead...
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