Going After The, By Tim O ' Brien And Girl By The Road At Night

1024 Words Feb 23rd, 2016 5 Pages
Women’s Roles

The novels, Going After Cacciato, by Tim O’Brien and Girl by the Road at Night: A Novel of Vietnam, by David Rabe, both tell stories of young men thrust into the Vietnam War. During each man’s experience in Vietnam they are pushed to shirk their duties to the military by the women they encounter. O’Brien’s main character, Paul Berlin, deals with the tough times of war by escaping into his imagination, where he creates a young girl named Sarkin Aung Wan. Sarkin constantly pushes Berlin to continue away from the war, and to live with her in Paris where they can fall in love. As for Rabe’s character, Joseph Whitaker, he becomes enamored by a Vietnamese prostitute named Lan, who always urges Whitaker to spend the night with her instead of returning to camp. In these novels, women represent a life away from war, and attempt to divert the soldiers from their war obligations. While Sarkin and Lan are very different, one is a figment of the imagination and the other just wants to make enough money to support her family, both tug on the main characters to leave behind their military duties, even if only for one night. Since Sarkin is just a girl made up inside of Paul Berlin’s mind, she symbolizes his inner struggle with deserting the war. Since his first encounter with her, in his made up story of chasing Cacciato to Paris because he is deserting, he finds ways to keep her in the story. When he tells her that she cannot come with them on the journey to Paris, she…

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