Vietnam Reading Assignment
Summary of Readings
The two pieces of text that i choose was the chapter "In the Field" by Tim O'Brien and the poem "Song of Napalm" by Bruce Weigl. In the chapter "In the Field" explains on how Jimmy Cross the leader of the platoon sends his squad of men on search party for a missing soldier by the name of Kiowas. After hours of searching for Kiowas body through the mud, Jimmy begins to feel guilty and decides to write a letter to Kiowas father telling him on how great of a soldier he was. Finally after a half a day of searching Kiowas body is found in a blue-green mud and all on Jimmy's mind is blame, responsibility, and golf. In the poem "Song of Napalm" discusses on how this man from the war is mentally scared of this image from his time in the war. As the man writes this letter to his wife, he compares on how the weather is to the sounds of war such as the sound of thunder sounding like the shell of a mortar. There was one image though that'll haunt this man til the day he dies, that mental image being the horror of the napalm strike on a Vietnamese village and watching that women running out of her home screaming with the the napalm attached to her like a jelly.
A passage I choose from the chapter "In the Fields" by Tim O'Brien was "And so late in the night when they took mortar fire from across the river, all they could do was snake down under the slop and lie there and wait. The field just exploded. Rain and slop and shrapnel, it all mixed together, and the field seemed to boil". I picked this piece of text because it gives the reader a more mental image of what the war was like from a first person point view, to give the reader a more personal connection with this character in the text. A phrase I choose from the poem "Song of Napalm" by Bruce Weigl, would be the phrase "She is burned behind my eyes, And not your good love and not the rain-swept air, And not the jungle green, Pasture unfolding before us can deny it". This phrase is important to the text as a whole because it displays on how a war veteran like the man described in the poem can be affected from the horrors of war mentally.
What message are these authors trying to convey to the readers about war? What is the impact the war has on people?
I think both authors are both trying to put out the image that war can mentally and physically hurt someone by facing them with the harsh reality of war, by showing them that war is not something to joke around about. The huge impact war has on people who enlist into the draft would be the fact that some of the graphic images from war can stick to some of these Vietnam war veterans causing them to have mental breakdowns or be given a guilty conscience.
I choose this picture to represent the text simply because it represents a similar scene from the novel, when Cross's squad was on a search party for Kiowas body after he had been shot in combat and to also represent the hardships & horrors of war.
Connection to Media
I choose this clip from Youtube because I feel like it captured the main image of the graphic events that took place in the Vietnam war. This video would relate to the text because it captures some scenes that were mentioned in the text such as the constant gun fights, friends from the same platoon being killed, and their same morale to fight on against the Vietnamese.
Vietnam War Footage