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Knowing Yourself

  • Date Submitted: 01/12/2013 09:43 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.7 
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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 courage.   O’Brien’s hypothesis about his own identity did not match the result after he was drafted to the war. The crisis challenged Tim O’Brien’s hypothesis about his own identity which gave the reader a better view of his true identity.  
After O’Brien was drafted, he his true opinion against the war was displayed. Before he was drafted to the war, O’Brien was not an anti-war person. He declared his position against the war very clearly in the beginning of the story “In any case those were my convictions, and back in college I had taken a modest stand against the war.” Although he believed United States should not go to the war without having a valid reason, he did not object to the government for provoking the war. On the other hand, after he received the draft notice, he no longer took a modest stand against the war.   He tried to defend himself to go to the war.
“If they needed fresh bodies, wherefore not draft some back-to the-stone-age hawk? Or some dumb jingo in his hard hat and betray Hanoi button, or one of LBJ's pretty daughters, or Westmoreland's unit of measurement handsome family - nephews and nieces and baby grandson?”  
In this quote, the author listed many powerful people and creatures in United States who had not been drafted to the war. Those powerful people...

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