Monday, January 25, 2010

The Things They Carried Response-"On the Rainy River"

The chapter in the book that engaged me the most was "On the Rainy River." Tim breifly describes his life before he even knew he would be drafted, and then he continues to explain the following days after he got the letter in the mail. He states at the beginning of the chapter that this was a story he had never told anyone before because he always thought it was too embarassing. I liked it a lot for the reasons he seemed ashamed of it. It's raw truth and he really describes his situation in a way that you yourself can feel how torn he was. An important event in this particular story was how Elroy Berdahl "saved him." It's also a good chapter to relate your own life too. There's a point in almost everyones lives when they have to make an important decision. Even though it may not be a decision as big as if you should go to war or try to escape. Tim describes it as, " Run, I'd think. Then I'd think, Impossible. Then a second later I'd think, run."
I don't think there's any right way to get over tragic loss, but I guess it just depends on the situation and what kind of person you are. The book definitely reflects tragic loss, but doesn't necessarily dwell on it. Of course reading war stories you're going to hear about people losing close friends, but they also make it out to sound like that's just what happens when you go into battle. I think most of the effects of losing a loved one don't hit soldiers until the war is over and you're back at home reliving all of the memories; it's then that you can really reflect back on the good and bad. Tim says it himself, that it's been twenty years and he still relives the moments. He also says that the truths of war are contridictory, "It can be argued, for instance, that war is grotesque. But in truth war is also beauty."

1 comment:

  1. I liked "On the Rainy River" too. I could imagine how he was shocked to get the letter. I liked the part when he made a big decision, going to the war, by himself.