Vietnam

Chris Hamilton

Summary:

The Man I Killed - Someone of the Vietcong was shot down and killed by an American soldier. This soldier begins to feel sorry for the man as he imagines how far his life might've gone if he didn't kill him.

Facing It - A Vietnam vet visits the Vietnam Memorial wall to pay respects to his once known comrads. While staring at the wall of names of those he knew that were killed in the Vietnam War, he has trouble facing the fact that those people are dead and that there's nothing he could do about it.


Important Passages:

The Man I Killed - "Think it over, " Kiowa said. Then later said, "Tim, it's war. The guy wasn't Heidi-he had a weapon, right? It's a tough thing, for sure but you got to cut out that staring." This line is important to the rest of the story because it shows how a soldier has to opperate in his thinking and his actions and that even soldiers realize how precious life is. It also shows that a killing machine can't have feeling and that no matter how cold, a soldier just has to do his job.

Facing It- "Names shimmer on a woman's blouse but when she walks away the names stay on the wall." This line is important to the whole poem because the symbolism suggests that the names on the wall will stay there, forever ingraved. Those people died and will always be dead and there is just nothing that the protagonist can do about it.

Discussion Questions:

I believe that the message that these authors are trying to convey is to be thankful for your life. If you don't have to worry about the horrible experiences that happen in war, you should be thankful that you can just live your life. For example, in "The Man I Killed", The protagonist imagines that the man he killed had a good life ahead of him and was just like another human being, but because of the war, his life had to come to an abrupt end. After reading these stories and or poems, one could assume that war has significant affects on one's physical, mental, and emotional state.

Image Analysis:

This illustration depicts a very good representation and visual of the poem "Facing It". As the man looks on to the wall of names, he has flashbacks of his old war buddies. He then comes to the realization that he can't do anything about it and begins to grief, for the most part like the man in the poem.

Country Joe's Anti Vietnam War Song Woodstock

Connection to Media