Ambush & Style

Chapters 13 & 14 {The Things They Carried}

{Sarah P, Katelynn T, Jake L, Tony B & Kaylee B.}

Ambush

Summary: Some years after the end of the war, O’Brien’s daughter Kathleen asks O’Brien if he has ever killed anyone. She contends that he can’t help himself from obsessively writing war stories because he killed someone. O’Brien, however, insists that he has never killed anyone. Reflecting on his lie, O’Brien pretends Kathleen is an adult and imagines that he might tell her the entire story of My Khe.
~
Theme: The Theme can be many things in this chapter, yet we mostly decided that this chapter's theme revolved around death.. because O'Brien talks about his daughter's willing knowledge of the war. Yet he fails to comply the truth to his daughter, because he wishes to believe that in his own mind his little girl is a grown lady.
~
Text Evidence: Our text evidence is basically the first page of the chapter.
"When she was nine, my daughter Kathleen asked if I had ever killed anyone. She knew about the war; she knew I'd been a solider...
"You keep writing war stories," she said, "So I guess you must have killed somebody." It was a diffenrent moment, but I did what seemed right, which was to say, "Of course not," and then to take her onto my lap and hold her for awhile. Someday, I hope she'll ask again. But here I want to pretend she's grown-up. I want to tell her exactly what happened, or what I remember happening, and then I want to say to her that as a little girl she was absolutely right...."

~
Mood:

The mood turns down a dark path when O’Brien reflects on the past when he killed a mar during Vietnam. Then one starts to feel for him when he remembers what he has done and guilt drowns him.
Text Evidence:

“The grenade was to make him go away – just evaporate – and I leaned back and felt my head go empty and then felt it fill up again. I had already thrown the grenade before telling myself to throw it” (127).

~

“I try not to dwell on it, but now and then, when I’m reading a newspaper or sitting alone in a room, I’ll look up and see the young man step out of the morning fog” (128).

~

Tone:


We believe the author is trying to show moral guilt with the tone. He wants to tell his daughter what he’s done, but he believes she’s too young. He then reflects on what he’s done and morns over the fact that it will live with him forever.

Style

“Style,” like “Church,” concerns the contrast and ambiguity of good intentions and ill intentions. In this story, Henry Dobbins rebukes Azar for his insensitivity by hanging him over the mouth of a well. Yet the moral ambiguity of the story remains—a few moments earlier, Dobbins helps destroy an entire village. He is hardly occupying a moral high ground. Even so, Dobbins, more than Azar, retains some moral beliefs. In this case, he thinks it cruel to mock those who have been tortured—even though he is partly responsible for this torture.
~
Theme: The theme in this chapter mainly conflicts the morality of 'bullying'. The reason we chose this statement is because O'Brien talks about how torture should not be a moral concept, its inhuman, and that no one should be tortured.. Yet his friends say otherwise.
~
Mood:

We believe the mood is more on the grief side. O’Brien and his men see the side affects of a burned down house. The odd part was a young girl dancing outside of it. They weren’t sure what she was doing and Azar mocked her a bit.
Text Evidence:

“When we dragged them out [her family] the girl kept dancing, She put the palms of her hands against her ears, which must’ve meant something, and she danced sideways for a short while, and then backwards” (129).

~

“That night, after we’d marched away from the smoking village, Azar mocked the girl’s dancing. He did funny jumps and spins” (130).

~

Tone:

We believe O’Brien was trying to set a not so understanding tone. His men and himself are confused as to why this girl is dancing.

Edwin Starr - War (What is it good for) + Lycris HQ!!

Edwin Starr ~ War(What is it good for)

(Jake) I chose this song because it clearly spells out the pain and suffering in war to us. As Henry dobbins does the same in holding Azar over the well. Like how war holds us over the edge of destruction.

Castles Made Of Sand ~ Jimi Hendrix

(Jake) I picked this song because it has a Indian who wants to go to war. He builds this idea of invincibility and is killed in his sleep like Kiowa would have died if Tim didn't hold his guard.