Speaking Of Courage By Tim O Brien: Character Analysis

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Human Rather Than a Character
The first thing that comes to mind while thinking about a soldier is a man wearing clean uniform with glittering gold badges. This man is courageous, fearless; he can run through mud while it’s raining, go into dark tunnels without having any fear. From this hypothetical soldier’s face, it can be understood that he is proud of serving his country and protecting the weak. This man who would do anything to save his compatriots, fights dauntlessly in the war zone, when all he can think about is his beloved wife and kids. Unfortunately this soldier doesn’t exist. He is fiction. He is way too perfect to be real. In real life, everyone has fears and weaknesses that they have to cope with. No one is perfect, -including soldiers, and they shouldn’t be. The book
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The book doesn’t include heroic moments; it mostly talks about death and how bad war is. In the book, Tim O’Brien doesn’t depict soldiers as characters, he talks about them as human beings; as if they really exist -and maybe they do. Rather than the stereotypical soldier, Tim O’Brien intentionally shows the humane aspects of those soldiers and makes it easier for the reader to empathise and make an emotional connection with the soldiers.
In the chapter “Speaking of Courage”, Tim O’Brien tells the story of veteran Norman Bowker and shares the character’s internal feelings and memories about the war in order to show how soldiers really feel when they come back from war. When the readers see that even soldiers can feel excluded and have atrocious memories about war that they still regret, they emotionally connect with them. A common story of a soldier coming back home after war, begins with the welcoming of the soldier by the people in the soldier's hometown. However, the story of Norman Bowker is different than this common story. While telling the story of Norman Bowker, Tim O'Brien states: “and most of Norman Bowker's other friends were living in Des Moines or Sioux

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