Thursday, February 10, 2011

"The Blame Game"

Jasmine Jordan(summarizer/ blog-master):

"Like Jimmy Cross, the boy was explaining things to an absent judge.  It wasn't to defend himself.  The boy recognized his own guilt and wanted only to lay out the full causes..."When a man died, there had to be blame.  Jimmy Cross understood this.  You could blame the war… A moment of carelessness or bad judgment or plain stupidity carried consequences that lasted forever." (In the Field, pg. 115)

      During this section of the book, the troops are dealing with the recent death of Kiowa (the religious baptist trooper, from Oklahoma) and the men are trying to process what just happened. Similar to all the other burdens the men carry, this one is no different. Tim automatically accepts his part but with partial guilt in Kiowa's death that he doesn't even try to rationalize.  Instead he decides to relive every single reason that could be the answer to what just happened. 

     On the other hand, Jimmy Cross blames himself for Kiowa's death. He starts to think of who in particular should be blamed for the lost- sources such as the war, the rain, God, munitions makers, voters, etc.  are deemed worthy. Even despit the many reasonal blames he comes up with, its ultimately his own faults that win the clear vote.  Jimmy chose to camp in the field despite the warnings of old Vietnamese women so most would say its safe to place the blame on him....what do you believe?

"Night Life"

The “Night Life” both supports and refutes Tim O’Brien’s contention that men are too afraid of shame to leave the kill-or-be-killed life of war. Like in previous chapters Kiley is less afraid of physical pain than he is of the unknown. Kiley's fear drives him to show his own cowardice. To the men, refusal to serve is as undesirable as death itself.

Brianna (Illustrator)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Never the same.

"Its almost like I got killed over in Nam..."
When people go to war they usually don't come back the same. The way of life they had before seems to be just a dream. In this book when they come home from the war they mention they they left a part of them back in Vietnam. War changed men.
John LaFon(illuminator)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Re: Manliness (By John)

Jasmine Jordan (summarizer/ blog master)

Great post and insight John! (for some reason its not letting me directly comment)

"They carried the common secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it could never be put down, it required perfect balance and perfect posture." (The Things They Carried.77)

I find it interesting that the soldiers' potential cowardice is a "common secret." Their great sense of fear is something that all of them secretly keep to themselves but more importantly, it is something that they ALL have inside of them. I'm interested to see how this plays out further into the book and if it makes or breaks the bond between them.


"They carried the soldiers greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing.... They were too frightened to be cowards."
This quote is pretty self explanitory. Although death was a big fear amongst the men, there was an even bigger fear of being called a baby. Throughout the book they explain how they would rather shoot a man and be called a hero then let one go and be called cowardly.
John LaFon (Illuminator)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Thoughts They carried

"They all carried ghosts"
 Although they had to bear with all of the equipment of war to hold on there shoulders they had alot more on there minds that was weighing them down. This quote explains that they bring something you cant see our touch. Something like a loved one. As in the story titled "stockings" Henry Dobbins brings an item of his loved one. He uses this as a conforter of some sorts. He sleeps with it and holds it close to his face when he needs confort. Same for Jimmy Cross who in the first chapter is hung over a girl he doesnt think loves him. They use these things to have something to fight for.
John LaFon (Illuminator)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Profanity, War, Killing- Oh My!

Jasmine Jordan (summarizer/ blog master):

So far in the novel it is evident that there is a boastful amount of profound language and humor when the soliders reference to the war and its hostile environment. Why do the soldiers tell jokes about the killing that occurs in the War and why do they use profanity to describe it?