The Man I Killed Analysis

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O’Brien recollects the most unyielding Vietnam stories that are borderline between absolutely implausible and conventional. Rat Kiley tells a story of his first assignment in the mountains of Chu Lai near a river called the Song Tra Bong where he ran an aid station with eight other men. One day, Eddie Diamond, jokingly suggests bringing a girl to the camp there because the area is safe and highly unguarded. A younger medic, Mark Fossie goes off to bring his girl, Mary Anne Bell. Mary Anne arrives 2 weeks later and picks up on Vietnamese lifestyle and soldier/Medic experiences. After a while, Fossie suggests that Mary Anne should return home, but she retaliates. Over the next several nights it becomes clear that there is a strain between Fossie’s and Anne’s relationship because she begins coming home late and a few times not at all. Fossie makes arrangements to send her home …show more content…
The man’s jaw was in his throat, he says, and his upper lip and teeth were missing. One eye was shut, and the other looked like a star-shaped hole. O’Brien imagines that the man he killed was born in 1946 and that his parents were farmers; that he was neither a Communist nor a fighter. Kiowa justified O’Brien’s actions and urges him to come into terms with the man’s death. All the while, O’Brien reflects on the boy’s life, cut short. He observes at the boy’s sunken chest and delicate fingers and wonders if he was a scholar. Kiowa covers the body and urges him again to talk, but all O’Brien can contemplate is the boy’s daintiness and his eye that looks like a star-shaped hole. More than twenty years after the end of the war, O’Brien’s daughter Kathleen asks O’Brien if he has ever killed anyone. O’Brien, however, insists that he has never killed anyone. Knowing his lie, O’Brien imagines telling the entire story of My Khem to Kathleen as an

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