The novel of The Things They Carried is comparable to the real-life experience of Roger Donlon in the Vietnam War. On the Rainy River is a short story the author never tells because he is too embarrassed. It makes him look like a coward. The main character’s name is Tim O’Brien. The only war he participates is in the Vietnam War. He did not agree with this war because he did not have a choice due to being draft. Conversely, Roger Donlon is a veteran who experiences the Vietnam War and survives. However, he is not forcing to be in the war because he volunteers to serve the military. Both O’Brien’s novel and Donlon’s account of the war mention how they survived the horrible experiences. They have to live with the thought of seeing their comrades die. They will try to help out every comrade they can to save their lives. However, there are comrades that did not seem to make it. Tim O’Brien losses so many friends but still keeps fighting for his life and his soldiers. Going to war should be an option, not an order. Everyone should be able to decide.
The Thing They Carried is about Tim O’Brien experience with his fellow soldiers in the Vietnam War. On the Rainy River begins when he states that he never told his story to anyone. He says, This is one story I’ve never told before. Not to anyone. Not to my parents, not to my brother or sister, not to my wife (O’Brien 37). He is too embarrassed because he thinks people are going to consider him as a coward. O’Brien is part of the Vietnam War; however, he did not choose to be there. He is only twenty-one years old when he begins the war. He says, I was too good for this war. Too smart, too compassionate, too everything (O’Brien 39). O’Brien also hates seeing blood. He desires to do something else and he did not want to experience the feeling of seeing dead soldiers. He did not want to think that any of his best comrades die. O’Brien will complain, I had the world dicked-Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude and president of the student body and a full-ride scholarship for grade studies at Harvard (O’Brien 39). O’Brien hates being a soldier and he could not stand the dirt nor the boy’s scouts. When he gets his draft letter, he thinks there should be a law where they have the ability to decide if they want to be in the war or not.
Conversely, Roger Donlon’s dream is to be a pilot, but he had problems with his eyes. Later, him and his brother volunteer for the military. Donlon is chosen to be the leader of the Vietnam War. During this war, he finds out he is the leader of twelve men of a special force near the Nam Dong. Donlon did not want any errors, he makes sure all his men are preparing to fight in the war. Donlon and his men are defending the post. Meanwhile, they get attacked while protecting the post. However, Donlon manages too survived the war. Throughout the terrifying experience, Donlon helps all his injured comrades and brings them to a safe place. During this war, he watches his friend John die in pain. He is able to kill three of his enemies and keeps going on with a mission (Ross). Donlon says, I paused, mentally at least. God, why John? Why not me? (Ross) He still could not believe his friend died in front of him. He questions why God let him die, why could he not just save his life as he saves the other soldiers? Despite his injuries, he still keeps fighting until the war finishes. The United States aircraft drop flares and helps to bring the battle to an end. Donlon says, You killed the enemy because of the love you had for the man next to you? The most powerful emotion on Earth is love (Ross). He will kill anyone who makes his loves one surf. Love is stronger than hate; it can defeat anything and make the person have the energy to get revenge towards their loved ones.
Furthermore, Donlon and O’Brien are both parts of the Vietnam war. However, they both have different dreams before entering the Vietnam War. In the novel, O’Brien writes I was drafted to fight a War I hated. I was twenty-one years old. Young, yes, and politically naive, but even so the American War in Vietnam seemed to be wrong (O’Brien 38). In the article about Donlon, he says he Wanted to serve in the Air Force, but he ultimately couldn’t serve as a pilot because of a problem with his eyes. ( Ross) Throughout the war, they both lose comrades. However, they both keep fighting and do not care about the wounds. They are strong soldiers who will give their lives for their comrades. They are not afraid to die. They both care for their soldiers. They will see their soldiers die and will want revenge. They both have a family and they know that the family that is waiting for them at home. Their family knows they will either be back or not.
Meanwhile, they fight to defend their comrades they try to hide. After the war, they will have a story to tell and how it will end. They will regret not being able to help some of their comrades out just as they cure their comrades wound and save their life’s. They both have the feeling of not being able to help out the one soldier they mostly care about. They will tell or write about their experience of the war. They both are not proud to say how many men they lose. However, they are both proud that they are able to make it alive. However, many of their comrades did not seem to make it.
Moreover, these soldiers have many differences. Yes, they both experience war but they both have different feelings about it. Roger Donlon wants to be part of a war, so he volunteers in the military. Conversely, O’Brien’s story is different, since he is drafted into the war. He did not have a choice; however, he says in the novel all the reasons why he hates the war: I saw no unity of purpose, no consensus on matters of philosophy or history of law (O’Brien 38). He did not find any purpose in this war. O’Brien has different dreams for himself, he never imagines being chosen to be in war. Roger Donlon wins a medal for being part of the war and for defending his team. He wins first place for the Special Forces. Meanwhile, O’Brien and his leader Jimmy still could not get over losing a soldier (comrade). During the novel, it talks about his life. Everyone he meets he tells them about his experience in war. However, his wife and kids are tired of listening to him talk about the war. O’Brien seems to hate being part of the war. However, Donlon passion is serving for the war. Serving for his countries is his dream. That is why he volunteered in the military, so they could prepare him for the war.
Indeed, Roger Donlon fought through the war no matter how injured he is. He covers his wounds with anything he finds. However, Donlon does not have kids or family members waiting for him. Meanwhile, his comrade John who die during the war has kids and a wife. They are waiting for him to come back him but sadly he did not make it. He will question himself why his friend John had to die. He should be the one in his place. Furthermore, O’Brien is so young when he begins the war. The only people that are expecting him at home are his family. During the time, O’Brien did not have kids or a wife.
Lastly, the main characters are both involved in the Vietnam War. The feeling of both soldiers seeing their comrade die right in front of their face. O’Brien hates thinking about war or anything that has to do with it. Thus, Roger Donlon did not have the same thoughts as O’Brien. He did want to be part of a war. He is not trying to lose a soldier or have to give bad news to their family members. The soldiers did their best to help out their people in the war. They would give their lives just to help other soldiers out. They are not thinking about themselves. The novel and article both show how the character did all they could to win the war. They are both strong soldiers who manage to defeat their enemy at war. These soldiers both have a huge experience in war and have a story to tell. They will never know when they will have to serve for their country again. However, O’Brien does not want to be in another war again.
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