Rainy River

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    On The Rainy River

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    Courage can be defined in a variety of ways; it all depends on what an individual perceives as courageous, and the different aspects of courage they find most important. In the short story “On the Rainy River” Tim O’Brien focuses on the action side of courage. Action meaning the big and small tasks in a person’s life that determine their courageousness. The actions an individual takes when caught in a difficult situation is what defines them as brave. For example, when presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Ty Carter, President Obama concentrates on the physical aspect of courage. By adding personal detail to Sergeant Ty’s actions in battle, he helped the audience grasp what kind of deeds create physical valor. In the speech, there…

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    Within the writing of Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, he often uses the contradiction of topics or actions to emphasize their importance. He pairs ideas that are centralized around silence and speech to add value to what is said or not said and/or to emphasize the action associated with the silence or speech. O’Brien masters literary elements like mood and tense while portraying the contrast. Although this contrast is present throughout the book, it is most prominent in storylines…

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    In On the Rainy River, Tim O’Brien indicates of conformity in America by the narrator’s own uncertainty and dilemma. According to studies, “At 45 percent, Americans were the least likely out of nine nationalities to say that people should at least on occasion follow their consciences”(Fischer). This proves that Americans are afraid to use their conscience in certain situations. Some people do not like to be judged because of an action he or she might do or say. That person might want to be…

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    When stuck between fighting and fleeing, it can become difficult to choose. This is the main theme of the story “On The Rainy River”, written by Tim O’Brien, which recalls the events and struggles from when he was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. Applying a biographical lens to Tim O’Brien’s “On The Rainy River” reveals the relationship between how the narrator’s story can relate to Tim O’Brien’s life. You can clearly see the similarities between his views on the war and his conclusion to…

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    In the chapter “On the Rainy River”, Tim tell a story that he's held hidden inside of him for two decades, buried by embarrassment and shame. He was only twenty one when he received a letter that he was being drafted into the Vietnam War. Tim was devastated. He felt as if he had his whole life planned out. He had a full ride scholarship for grad studies at Harvard. He knew he was not military material. Tim stated “. I remember a sound in my head. It wasn't thinking, just a silent howl. A million…

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    In “On the Rainy River” the tone is confessional in the beginning. O’Brien says that the story is something he has never fully told to anyone before because he still feels ashamed of his indecision on the Minnesota-Canadian border. In “Mirrorings” Grealy writes with a resentful tone about when her teenage self “decided to become a ‘deep’” person” and “developed a form of defensive egomania” (Grealy 3). She put quotes around “deep” to show that her older self does not believe the same pretentious…

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    Making mistakes and errors are a part of human nature. A serious blunder can scar someone for life. No one likes to look foolish or unintelligent because even the smallest flaw affects one’s self esteem. The aspect of embarrassment in life is prominent in many works of literature. In “One the Rainy River”, Tim O’Brien explains the crisis that causes him humiliation when he is drafted into the Vietnam War. O’Brien uses precise diction such as, “embarrassment,” ”confession,” and “shame” to convey…

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    “The Things They Carried” which consists of interrelated short stories pertaining to the Vietnam War, which took place from 1955-1975, being that he is a veteran of the war. O’Brien introduces “Ambush” and “On the Rainy River”, which are the two selections that are being focused on. The related themes include; moral responsibility to do something generally acceptable by society, death and the distinction between right and wrong found in these selections. Social obligation within these…

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    Idealism is the pursuit of noble principles in life; it helps define individuals actions and gives them reason to believe in something. Idealism can help them face truth in their life. Tim O’Brien addresses in his short story “On the Rainy River” the significance of idealism and truth an individuals life though his character Tim. Tim faces the clashing of idealisms and realizes the importance of truth in ones life. When an individual is put in a situation, they must focus on the how they can…

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    He was an observer as Tim described him, over-watching his actions as if he were a godlike figure. Elroy Berdahl was a deus ex machina to O'Brien's history, attempting to guide his decision through opportunity. "It struck me then that he must've planned it. I'll never be certain, of course, but I think he meant to bring me up against the realities, to guide me across the river and to take me to the edge and to stand a kind of vigil as I chose a life for myself" (O'Brien 56). It was an…

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