Vietnam War Effects

Effects of the Vietnam War The Vietnam War induced the United States Congress to terminate the use of the military draft with an all-volunteer force, as a result of the negative effects of the draft on many young Americans. The way people viewed the United States involvement in the war also determined how many felt about the draft, to conclude with the idea that not all soldiers in the war were drafted, furthermore, some soldiers volunteered. In the book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, the narrator got drafted into the Vietnam war right after college. In the chapter “On the Rainy River”, Tim explains his urge to illegally flee to Canada by crossing the Rainy River in opposition of the war. In the chapter “Sweetheart of the Song Tra …show more content…
Protests mainly took place on college campuses due to the major amount of young Americans that opposed the war because they deviated with the lottery draft causing young men to flee to Canada, precipitating tensions to run high. However, some Americans did not contradict the war, furthermore, some soldiers volunteered. This is not the case for the narrator; in addition, he thought about leaving everything behind and fleeing to Canada. In “On the Rainy River”, the narrator of the story, Tim O’Brien, admits to his temptations of fleeing to Canada. Tim describes his reasoning to be averse to the war as “I saw no unity of purpose, no consensus on matters of philosophy or history or law” (O’Brien “On the Rainy River 38). Moreover, he spent six days at a lodge by the river, coupled with many emotional innovations throughout these six days. His young anti-war self battled the perception of one thing: shame. Tim O’Brien ends his trip with one realization, “I would go to the war - I would kill and maybe die - because I was embarrassed not to” (O’Brien “OTRR” 56). Tim’s heart and mind hold embarrassment, while he struggles with generating an enormous decision that will define his …show more content…
The lottery draft resulted in many young men fleeing to Canada to escape from the war, which is further described in the chapter “On the Rainy River” when the narrator comes twenty feet away from Canadian borders. Tim struggles with this decision while he stared at Canadian borders, “I was off on the margins of exile, leaving my country forever, and it seemed so grotesque and terrible and sad” (O’Brien “OTRR” 48). Americans lost patriotism during the time of the war, due to the loss of freedom found in the draft. Not all soldiers felt the same as Tim, while some soldiers felt an extreme amount of patriotism for the United States. These people indulged in the war, volunteering without a second thought. This is not necessarily true for one soldier, but close. In “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”, Mary Anne is a character who volunteers her service in the war, furthermore, the war is her life, and there is no where else she would rather be. Mary Anne describes the war effects as “I feel close to myself” (O’Brien “SOTST” 106). Mary Anne became the person she wanted to be as an effect of the war, as Tim O’Brien was in the war because he felt it was his

Related Documents