The Story Behind Vietnam

Luis Anton, Ivan Armenta

Summary of Readings

Chapter - "In The Field" by Tim O'Brien

A group of 18 soldiers were walking through a field filled with mud and water. They were looking for one of the soldiers named Kiowa. He went missing the night before, when they got attacked by the North Vietnamese.

Poem - "Facing it" by Yusef Komunyakaa

A Vietnam veteran went to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and started hallucinating things. He looked at the names and saw many reflections of booby traps, & planes in the air. He saw many things in the reflection of the stone that related to his experiences during the war.

Important Passages

Poem - "I go down the 58,022 names, half-expecting to find my own in letters like smoke" (Komunyakaa 14-16). This passage is really important to the poem because it shows how much fear he has even after the war. Even though he survived, he feels like some part of him died during the war.

Story - "I guess not. But felt sort of guilty almost, like if I'd kept my mouth shut none of it would've ever happened. Like it was my fault" (O'Brien 176). This quote shows how whatever happens, someone is always going to feel guilty. You would never have a clear conscious after going to war.

Discussion Questions

One message that is clear is that War is easy to talk about, but hard to experience. Anything that happens during war, even the smallest things, can be a miracle to the soldier experiencing it. War has a huge impact on people, no matter what war they fight in. It causes soldiers to develop mental disorders in the future, and doesn't allow them to live a normal life.

Image Analysis

This picture shows how a lot of people were against the war for various reason. Everyone knew that the situation was really bad over seas, so they wanted to resist. They didn't want to risk more American Lives, for a war that wasn't about them.
Country Joe's Anti Vietnam War Song Woodstock

Connection to Media

This video connects to the Vietnam War because it shows how everyone was against the war and didn't support the draft. They felt like the war was pointless and had no clue what they were fighting for. Just like that one guy who didn't know if it was worth fighting for in the documentary we watched in class.