If I Die In A Combat Zone, Box Me Up And Ship Me Home, By Tim O Brien

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If I Die in a Combat one, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home
O 'Brien, Tim. If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home. New York, New York: Broadway Books, 1975. 209.
If I Die in a Combat Zone, Bow Me Up and Ship Me Home, is a wartime novel written by Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien. This book has been described as “A beautiful, painful book” (New York Times Book Review). After completing the novel, I concur with this statement. The book is beautifully written, but the content is anything but beautiful; it talks about gruesome deaths and hard truths. This book transports you to the days of the brutal crisis in Vietnam and gives you a soldier’s realistic perspective on the war. O’Brien describes his own internal struggles between his morality
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From the beginning the importance of courage is a reoccurring theme in O’Brien’s experience. He struggles with defining courage. He reads many philosophies, uses his own experience, and looks for examples to attempt a definition. When searching for the meaning of courage, O’Brien looks to Plate and his work Laches. In the excerpt that O’Brien uses, Plato and Laches are having a conversation about courage and what it means. The result is that the only courage is wise endurance. O’Brien writes …show more content…
This passage is an embodiment of what courage means to a soldier. Acting wisely under pressure of a war is a true determinant of wise courage. Also every soldier knows first hand what endurance is. Waking up everyday in a foreign land no one understands endurance and perseverance more than a soldier. O’Brien goes on to talk about the opposite of wise courage, which is foolish courage, and he wonders if this is not what he is portraying. During the war, O’Brien has one true definition of courage, and it is the man that leads him, Captain Johansen. He holds Captain Johansen in high regards because of his actions during battle. There is one memory that O’Brien relates to Johansen’s bravery and that is during a battle in My Lai. O’Brien compares Captain Johansen to the valiant Sir Lancelot, a real hero. O’Brien expresses his admiration for his captain and writes, “I found a living hero, and it was good to learn that human beings sometimes embody valor, that they do not always dissolve at the end of a book or a movie reel” (145). For O’Brien, Captain Johansen is the living embodiment of courage, though he related courage with fictional characters in novels, such as Hemingway’s novels, it is the real person that shows him

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