The Sorrow of War: Book Review Essay

1006 Words Sep 21st, 2013 5 Pages
The experience of war brings out the moralities of war and the tragedies of loss and death. Bao Ninh portrays these realizations and tragedies throughout his novel The Sorrow of War. The stories told follow the central character Kien whose story shows the moralities of war and tragedies of loss and death. Bao Ninh’s The Sorrow of War is a novel depicts the horrors that are a result of war. Kien is the main character whose life is used to depict these horrors; a soldier who’s lost all his comrades, lost his love, and lost his path. Kien’s life is made to be extremely harsh and extremely undesirable by the readers. The novel starts off with Kien gathering the remains of his fellow fallen soldiers, this gathering seems to be the trigger for …show more content…
Morality is another large part of The Sorrow of War as it is developed through Kien’s character throughout the novel. One example of Kien’s morality is the Green Coffee Girl. The Green Coffee Girl was a young prostitute who was being attacked, as Kien came across this attack he chases the attacker away, to express her gratitude she offers herself to him. Kien’s morality comes into play as he refuses the girls offer. Another example of morality is situation with the South Vietnamese Commandos. These South Vietnamese Commandos were responsible for the death of three farm girls who they sacrificed to the water spirit. Although these Kien had captured four of the seven commandos, he was unable to kill these commandos and instead spared their lives. Overall, I believe that Bao Ninh did a very good job at portraying the true sorrow that is brought on by the Vietnam War in The Sorrow of War. This novel has a very interesting storyline flow and style of writing. I was reminded heavily of the previous novel The Things They Carried by the stories flow and the style of writing that the author chose. As with The Things They Carried I was immediately intrigued by the topic of the Vietnam War, so this was another novel with a very easy subject to follow. I feel that Bao Ninh and Tim O’Brien did both did very well showing how the Vietnam War can mess with one’s mind. They showed this through the skipping around

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