The bloodshed, turmoil and humiliation are the end results of war. War not only disorders the country/nation but also induce mayhem in soldier’s personality. Sometimes, war brings distress, disorder and disruption to the combatant psyche, and sometimes this psychic situation would come up with the complicated and confused mindset. Moreover, sometimes for a survivor of a combat, the success or defeat would not be dominant, but the personal residuals would matter to go on with life.
Therefore, in fact a worrier fought two wars at a time, one is the national and the other is personal. Success in the national war can grant him awards and ranks. But, it do not puts a soldier into the personal satisfaction, until he residues his personal belongings and beloveds. Hence, if some soldier would lose his personal belongings and beloveds in the rush of national war, actually he loses the life’s war. That is why, it has been asked by the Wiseman that war is the final option for any issue between two, because war destroys.
The very common phenomenon about war is it destroys. Taking it into consideration by the military means, the ultimate aim of a military operation is to occupy and conquer the opponents and the enemy. On the other hand, when we take it into consideration with the worrier’s aspect, it actually reflects another war into the war. The individual warriors would not only fight with the enemies but also with the survival for their belongings and beloveds. Therefore, a soldier can never be the hero, if he/she does not win on both grounds.
Moreover, it has been revealed after a long history of war, bloodshed and turmoil that it only destructs and there is nothing that would be achieved after every war but the destruction only. Hence, it is not only national destruction but sometimes it is also a personal destruction. And the personal destruction only bears by the worriers them self.
The war and its consequences:
The above mentioned paragraphs have quite comprehensively covered the theme of war and its consequences. However, the central theme in the paragraphs reveals the fact of war destruction. It is fact that war destroys but it is phenomenon that war not only destroys the nation/country but also personality. This personal destruction notion has been quite comprehensively presented by the two completely adversary writers in their two stories namely "The sorrow of war" by Bao Ninh and "The things they carried" by Tim O’Brien. But, the coincidence is both have the same idea and same theme.
Both stories represent the same idea of personal destruction. But, the story line and characterization is completely different from one another. In “The sorrow of war” the writer Bao Ninh used only his character to explain his personal experience and the whole theme of war and its consequences. On the other hand, in “The things they carried” the writer Tim O’Brien has used his personal experience and lots of characters other to explain the theme of war and its consequences. However, the central theme war and its consequences have been the same and quite inductively portrayed by the both writers.
The sorrow of war:
In “The sorrow of war” the writer Bao Ninh has introduced the Kien character as himself the luck soldier; he is the one who has been survived from the whole platoon. However, the personal defeat on the grounds of love has brought a feeling of disgrace to him He has been survived from the ammunition, although he has sorrow and pain of unmet goals and rages. But, he has been more afflicted with the loss of love. Therefore, survival is actually not the victory situation, but sorrow and pain of not only war but also of love, and it has anguished his professional as well as personal life (Ninh, 1994).
Central Theme of “The sorrow of war”:
The chief theme of “The sorrow of war” is to identify the cruelty of warfare and the defeat on grounds of love by a worrier. The conditions and post consequences of warfare has quite forcefully exposed by the writer Bao Ninh. He not only demonstrated before and after personality of a worrier but also presented the intimate feelings of a normal human being. Therefore, it cannot be denied that “The sorrow of war” has reflected the complete afflictions of war and the consequences afterward.
The things they carried:
In “The things they carried” the writer Tim O’Brien with quite effective manner portrayed his platoon ambiance with engagement of each character. There are lots of characters who have their own emotions, feelings, belongings and beloveds. However, at the end each character has great interaction and respect for each other. Therefore, even they have professional affiliation with each other; they eventually make themselves for each other (O'Brien, 1990).
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Briefly explaining the writer’s effort, Tim O’Brien has extraordinarily explained his own experience of war and his afflictions. He has transmuted each of his battle field team members into the characters of his story. The theme of the story is about the burden each character carries with him. It is burden of belongings, beloveds as well as the burden of war and ammunitions. Moreover, at the end of story humanity disappears when Jimmy Cross takes the responsibility of Ted Lavender’s death. At the same time, confession from Tim O’Brien of Kiowa's completely changes the mood of story.
Therefore, at the end of the story the distress, humiliation and turmoil prevails. Moreover, no charm of victory has come up, but the horror and mayhem impacted the whole scenario. Therefore, war not only affected them who give-up the ghost and the dead ones, but impacted the survivors as well.
Central Theme of “The things they carried”
Again the central theme of “The things they carried” is same like “The sorrow of war”. The only difference is of story line and the characters writer used to reveal the facts of writer’s own experience. This story also exposes the consequences of war on individual level. Tim O’Brien has explained the happenings and the consequences with a brief portrayal. His own confession and other mishaps happened due to human error irritates him psychologically. Therefore, the story completely denies the need of war highlights the consequences.
For both Kien and Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, the experience of war is inseparable from their thoughts and memories of a love left behind.
Love is life, and life would be the victory less without the love survival. This statement completely defines Kien’s and Lieutenant Jimmy Cross’s experience of war with inseparable thoughts and memories of their love left behind.
By explaining the plot, Kien’s is the only soldier remained from his platoon. He has great fear of war after his safe return to home. Moreover, his personality has been transformed from a loving, passionate, desirable, light hearted and sensitive personality to the depressed and disordered personality. This all happens due to the cruel war game by the communist and anti-communist forces. This chaos situation has burnt the liberty and peace from the society and put them into the cold war. A quotation is better to explain the situation “We have met our enemy and he is us.” This quotation greatly expresses the cold war scenario. Therefore, the love and peace is everlasting, and it is not then there is nothing that could ever last.
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Lieutenant Jimmy Cross has great obsession for Martha and that is why he always talks about her and mesmerize himself in the love of Martha. However, his feelings of guilt of Lavender’s death, has separated him from his one burden. Previously, he carries two burdens one of love with Martha and the second of war. However, after his confession and guiltiness of Lavender’s death he burns the Martha’s letters and goes ahead with one burden and mission of war. Then he seems to be the real soldier and brave warrior.
How do Bao Ninh and Tim O’Brien use true love, and its loss, as a metaphor for the effects of war?
Both writers Bao Ninh and Tim O’Brien has exposed the same theme and thought by identifying the effects of war. Both of them have feeling of love and they have someone behind who fantasizes them. Therefore, in both of the stories the true love and its loss define the personal victory. On the other hand, the effects of war have been enlightened by the writers with exampling the cruel happening and inhuman drift.
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In what ways does this suggest parallels between American and Vietnamese experiences of the war, and in what ways does it suggest differences?
The two writers Bao Ninh and Tim O’Brien belong to two different counties that are involved in Vietnam Cold War. “The things they carried” by and Tim O’Brien is about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War and “The sorrow of war” by Bao Ninh is about communist allies in Vietnam. Therefore, it suggests the parallels between American and Vietnamese experiences of the war. However, it does not suggest any differences.
At the end of treatise, the war and its consequences have been quite comprehensively discussed. At the same time, the two stories “The sorrow of war” and “The things they carried” have exposed the same theme of war and its consequence. Therefore, as a result we have “No War” conclusion, because war not only destruct the countries/nations but also the individuals participants the soldiers. We have two worriers experience to learn lesson from, to say No to War. No to War will not only bring harmony in the society but will promote love and peace as well.