Vietnamization Of America Analysis

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America from the 1950’s to the 1970’s was in complete turmoil. The Vietnam War had taken over and fear was instilled into the lives of Americans everywhere. There was the fear of being drafted, the fear of loved ones leaving, the fear of loved ones dying, and the fear of war itself. Although society wanted to believe the war was notable and heroic, many did not think that way. Men who were sent over to Vietnam during the war were stripped of their lives and forced to adapt to life under attack. There was nothing to look forward to and the memories and items they cherished began to fade. In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and throughout Tom Lehrer’s war stories in Walter A. McDougall’s “The Vietnamization of America,” the idea emerges …show more content…
Lehrer has come to realize that the “war still sputters inside [him]” and that he will always have this “deep-down fear… that there is no discharge from that war”(McDougall). The war has altered his mind to think of Vietnam and only Vietnam. One can see how a man, twenty-five years after returning home, still has nightmares and fears of what occurred overseas. One has “never experienced such utter blackness, and utter silence” and “darkness” until they have battled in Vietnam (McDougall). Here Lehrer talks about the nights during the war, where he was afraid and alone. There was no one there to comfort him. There was no light to soothe his fear. This darkness symbolizes how depressing and destructive Vietnam was on the mind and how wrong it was. Lehrer mentions over and over again how “something was wrong with the Vietnam War”(McDougall). This battle was not just a couple of fights among enemies, it was “standing knee deep in muddy water” waiting to be evacuated and the choppers to come, “only the choppers [did not] come”(McDougall). The soldiers sat there, completely defenseless against the enemy, waiting. In this moment, the world seemed to end and there was nothing, because what “few twenty-two-year-olds ever [knew] despair” (McDougall). Lehrer tells this story for the reader to glimpse into the mind of a soldier. He talks about how “the violence without and the silence within were terrifying” and “he [did not] know what other men did to contain their fear”(McDougall). Lehrer allows the reader to see how his mindset, along with others, during the war was scared and uneasy, ultimately leading to the disturbance he still feels at home. His experience in Vietnam forever changed his life and still brings fear to his mind, just like the characters in The Things They

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