1) While reading “The Man I Killed” I feltthat O’Brien makes us understand that the people dyeing is a lot more complexthan one death, it is a story or an impact on another person’s life you aretaking away. You cannot predict what someone can achieve because allpossibilities in one person’s life are infinite, “His life was now aconstellation of possibilities.” (O’Brien 122). Every death in the book has aperson or idea to blame: Cross was blamed for Ted’s death, “He hated himself.He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was nowdead.
” (O’Brien 116), Kiowa’s death was on the younger soldier, “The flashlightmade it happen. Dumb and dangerous. And as a result, his friend Kiowa wasdead.” (O’Brien 163). Kiowa getting shot was never the intended goal of theflashlight incident but it did happen.
The death causes a loss with infinitepossibilities and removes the possibility that they can positively affectanother person’s life. 2) Accuracy is important when the purpose ofthe story is to inform, if the purpose is to entertain it would be perfectlyfine but the author must say the fictional nature of the story. Every storycauses a different feel to every reader because we all have differentexperiences and opinions. “It wasn’t a war story. It was a love story.
“(O’Brien 81). Kiley and the baby buffalo; a story to belittle the personlistening to the story because of the misunderstanding of it being literal thanmetaphorical. The baby buffalo explainsto us how shocked Kiley was by the loss of his close friends so suddenly.
O’Briencreates his story to get the point across to the audience, lying and addingthings that did not happen just to affect our emotions is smart but not verygood towards his credibility in the book. The fact that he is lying creates avoid and stops us from believing in the writer in the future.4) In “On the Rainy River” he stated thatwas just not right and his service is an act of cowardice, “I was drafted tofight a war I hated. I was twenty-one years old. Young, yes, and politicallynaïve, but even so the American was in Vietnam seemed to me wrong.” (O’Brien38). The government is using these young and naïve kids to fight in the war andit is just not right.
If you do not appreciate your country or you don’t go towar when the country needs you the most a lot of people will talk badly aboutyou and everyone you love. It is a giant scheme to force people into going towar because they will not be seen as patriotic if they choose not to go, “I didnot want people to think badly of me. Not my parents, not my brother andsister, not even the folks down at the Gobbler Café.” (O’Brien 49). Themotivation of O’Brien in the book is not very good because he didn’t even wantto go in the first place, he just went to keep his family name’s imagepatriotic. He was forced to go with society instead of choosing what he wants.
7)The Man I Killed” is a perfect case for Story-Truth because throughout theentire chapter O’Brien shows us a gory scene of a dead body next to a tree.”The upper lip and gum and teeth were gone. The man’s head was cocked at awrong angle as if loose at the neck.” (O’Brien 121). This very vivid anddisturbing portrayal of this dead man proves a much deeper and betterunderstanding of the text. O’Brien creates his own story for the man he killedto humanize him to himself and the reader.
He proceeds to elaborate on thefictional personality that the dead man never wanted violence and he was moreof a scholar than a soldier. O’Brien had sympathized with the dead man and hebelieves that they are just like each other and share the same feeling of notwanting to be with the violence but they must in order to be accepted byeveryone. When O’Brien writes through his own views and not from a third personhe creates a bias that it is hard to see but more experienced readers cannotice. 9)”The Lives of the Dead” creates a sense of innocence by making a situation onthe death of Ted Lavender. The pun that Sanders makes about Lavender’s deadbody going to be “taken up high and cool.
Gonna relax you. Gonna alter yourwhole perspective on this sorry shit.” (O’Brien 219). Lavenders disappearanceignores the very rough reality, this makes us feel like he is not gone he isjust in another place. It very much understates death and the fear of it tojust moving on to another life and the past is gone. “how tranquil he was, how itwasn’t the bullet but the tranquilizers that blew his mind. He wasn’t dead justlaidback.
” (O’Brien 226). This makes us feel that he wasn’t murdered in agruesome and disgusting way but just relaxed and asleep in a tranquil way. Theway Kiley told the story about curt lemon you would have never known that Lemonhad actually died.
He was still out there, trick or treating. How the survivingvictims of the Vietnam war keep their friends in their mind because they cantlet go and they cant handle the truth that they are gone forever. Military menare usually known as strong and older men who can handle anything that isthrown at them but in actuality it is young men who are naïve and don’t knowwhat happened at war and they are scarred for life after the attack on theirmental state.