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Knowing Yourself Essay

1015 words - 5 pages

Do You Really Know About Yourself?

In the short story On the Rainy River written by Tim O’Brien, O’Brien made a contrast between what he originally thought and what he actually did. O’Brien saw going to the Vietnam War as a crisis because he had to risk his life to fight a war that he did not believe in. O’Brien was a different person than what he thought. He used to believe that he was not an anti-war person, but his reaction after the obligation proved him wrong. He used to believe that he lacked control over his life. However, O’Brien made the decision to flee to Canada and returned without being forced. Lastly his theory of courage did not accurately describe the way he used his ...view middle of the document...

Those powerful people and creatures did not have to go to the war but commoner Tim O’Brien had to, which displayed his anger after he read the draft notice. His position against the war was no longer modest. O’Brien Being drafted to the Vietnam War showed his true view against the war.
When O’Brien was forced to go to the Vietnam War, he believed that he his life was not controlled by himself, but his actions showed he had the power to control his life. He had no power to change the fact that he was drafted to the War. Since he was chosen by the government as a solider, he would have to go to war without any question; this was called the U.S. patriotism. O’Brien suggested that his life was not controlled by his hands. To enhance his point, he shared the way he worked in the story which served as a parallel to the fact that he was drafted to the war. When he was working, the gravity did the work to operate the water gun and the machines did the labor to move the carcass. In addition, he could not get rid of the greasy-pig smell on his body despite his effort showering. However, he had the power to make decisions about himself; He went all the way up to the Rainy River, and returned. He made all those decisions by himself, even at the end of the story where he decided to go to war. “I would go to the war—I would kill and maybe die— because I was embarrassed not to.” The author used the term “I” to enhance the idea that those decisions were all made by Tim O’Brien himself. Since O’Brien made his own decisions by himself, then it is valid to say that O’Brien was able to control his life. O’Brien was not the person who lacked control over his life. ...

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