by: Taylor Chism
Summary of Readings
"The Man I Killed" by Tim O'Brien
In this passage an American soldier hears a noise late at night in the distance. He soon relies its a Vietnam soldier so immediately throws a grenade at his feet blowing him up and killing him. The American soldier soon regrets his decision to throw the grenade. When he walks up to the dead body he imagines this boys life story and feels extremely guilty. A guilt that scared him.
"Song of Napalm" by Bruce Weigl
In this poem a resent soldier from Vietnam is outside with his wife. He is have flashbacks of the war, a young woman in particular. These past memories seem to be affecting his home life and is making it hard for him to adjust to normal life back home.
"The Man I Killed" Quote:
"His eyes moved from the sky to the dead man's body to knuckles of his own hands. "So listen, you best pull your shit together. Can't just sit here all day." Later he said, "Understand?" Then he said, "Five minutes, Tim. Five more minutes and we're moving out" (O'Brien).
This passage is important to the overall chapter because its a great example of how the grief was eating away at the American soldier. His head officer was trying to talk to the soldier and get him to keep moving with the others but the soldier was in such a shock he couldn't get out of his head.
"Song of Napalm" Quote:
"Nothing can change that; 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" (Weigl).
This passage is important to the poem as a whole because it represents the trauma the returned soldier is feeling. He explains how his memories of the war are stuck with him and is something he will never forget.
What message are these authors trying to convey to the readers about war? What is the impact the war has on people?
The message the authors are trying to convey to its readers is that the Vietnam war was traumatizing to its soldiers. The events that took place had a strong impact on everyone involved and scared them. This impact resulted in a PTSD for many soldier. Some were never the same after the things they when though.