This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Understanding Irony Through Vietnam Essay

1462 words - 6 pages

Understanding Irony through the history of Vietnam

  How do u tell a true war story? The answer can be found in Tim Obrien's excerpt entitled How to Tell a True War Story. Tim is a credible source to this topic being that he is a war veteran who served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970. Within his story shocking truths about war are revealed. Explanations about the nature of war and the overall meanings associated with war are expressed throughout by a series of short stories. According to Tim O’Brien, a true war story is never moral, is unbelievable, and is often times pointless. Without historical knowledge of knowing how demoralizing and frustrating the Vietnam War was for U.S troops, ...view middle of the document...

" Unfortunately, all that is left are the memories of Curt. The loss is hard to swallow for all soldiers of the battalion but especially for his best friend Rat Kiley. In efforts to deal with the grieving of Curt’s death, Rat decides to write a very personal letter to his sister. The letter is very heartfelt and expresses sad emotions, but the fact that she never writes back is even sadder. No reply for Rats letter adds to the whole story by creating awareness. The initial appearance that Curt’s sister would write back makes the situational irony stronger. Before realizing that this actually happens, Tim implies that the soldier would receive a reply by elaborating on how amazing the letter was. “Anyway, it's a terrific letter, very personal and touching. Rat almost balls writing it". Later on, the outcome is revealed in a very direct and straightforward manner. “Rat mails the letter. He waits two months. The dumb cooze never writes back”. By setting the reader up this way, Tim creates a very powerful technique for presenting the Irony.
                Another story presented that reveals the same kind of irony is told by Tim’s comrade, Mitchell Sanders. The story begins with a group of soldiers sent out on LP (listening post). Their primary objective is to listen for enemy movements or sounds that may pose a threat. When and if these sounds occur, they are to radio into headquarters and report the activity. The irony in this story presents itself early on. Instead of hearing normal sounds of enemy movement such as footsteps and gun fire, the team starts to hear music. This creates a very bizarre and confusing situation for the soldiers. With time, they begin to hear singing and opera’s in of all places; the jungles of Vietnam. Here, situational irony is presented in a very well thought out form. Because the setting of the story takes place in Vietnam, when the soldiers hear chamber music, it is instantly questioned and obviously out of place. The classical music represents everything that Vietnam is not. The sounds of its delicacy and eloquence contrasts with Vietnam’s brutality and savagery. The irony is used as a connection to show how war can unexpectedly be beautiful and eloquent at times. This sort of comparison with war is expressed all throughout the piece. For example, “The truths are contradictory. It can be argued, for instance that war is grotesque. But in truth war is also beauty. For all its horror, you can’t help but gape at the awful majesty of combat”. (353.
         The third story within the piece gives the impression of being very gruesome and evil. The focus is directed towards a baby water buffalo. Tim explains the situation when his platoon finds a lone baby Vietcong water buffalo in the mountains. The buffalo is later caught and roped up by the platoon, who then takes it to an isolated village. After supper Rat Kiley takes aim and begins to shoot the animal. He starts with a shot through the right knee, then shoots it...

Other Papers Like Understanding Irony Through Vietnam

Irony in “the Escape” by W.S.Maugham

818 words - 4 pages In the literal work “The escape” written by W.S.Maugham, irony plays the inevitable part in making the success of the story. The narrator recites how his friend, Roger Charing, tries to get rid of a woman, Ruth Barlow, through the process in which he escape from the little lady, the author expresses his severe irony towards Ruth Balow and her scheming deeds. First of all, irony refers to the incongruity between what might be expected and what

International Business Essay

3068 words - 13 pages International Company Limited. The company is committed to “ adding vitality to life” of the local people through provide a wide range of high quality product with affordable priced products which can help people to improve their life’s standard. Many of the Unilever Vietnam products have become number one household brand in Vietnam. The company is currently operating a factory in Cu Chi- Ho Chi Minh city. ( Am Cham Vietnam) The Unilever Vietnam

Analysis of Oedipus Trilogy

3871 words - 16 pages his exile the curse will be lifted. At this point in the play dramatic irony is already in place. Dramatic irony is defined as “a relationship of contrast between a character's limited understanding of his or her situation in some particular moment of the unfolding action and what the audience, at the same instant, understands the character's situation actually to be.”1 The literary merit of dramatic irony is the building of suspense


2882 words - 12 pages EDITION ACTIVITIES Marketing Volunteer Club – RMIT International University Vietnam Position: Core Member  Assisted the university’s marketing department in determining the logistics of organizing promotional events and carried out relevant administrative duties. Represented the student body through directly interacting with prospective students and sharing personal experiences of student and academic life. Oct 2011 – Current Jan 2012 – Present

A Modest Proposal Analysis

2081 words - 9 pages statements. For example, Swifts, A Modest Proposal, is often heralded as his best use of both sarcasm and irony. Yet taking into account the persona of Swift, as well as the period in which it was written, one can prove that through that same use of sarcasm and irony, this proposal is actually written to entertain the upper-class. Therefore the true irony in this story lies not in the analyzation of minute details in the story, but rather in the

A True War Story

1098 words - 5 pages Tim O’Brien’s “How to Tell a True War Story,” centers on the principle that a reader cannot always trust the narrator of a story to tell the truth. The reader can listen, but must never cease to analyze in order to decipher the truth in each story. In Tim O’Brien’s short story, his narrator is naturally accepted and assumed to be the author of the story. Through this narrator, a story of personal Vietnam War experiences unfolds. Because this

In Order to Be Informative the Shape and/or Style of a Text Must Always Be Straightforward

1756 words - 8 pages idea that the Vietnam war changes each soldier, and no one escapes despite their ability to survive. We are presented with Mary Anne, the girlfriend of a soldier who loses herself in Vietnam, as a symbol of America intrinsically embedded into the story. We understand this symbolism through the lines about American girls, “…how clean and innocent they all are, how they’ll never understand any of this, not in a billion years.” The reader identifies

"The Pit That They Digged" by Rudyard Kipling

1265 words - 6 pages -confidence. Kipling created a story dealing with the narrow views of the various administrative departments of Bengal about a specific situation. the short story could be read at several levels: an amusing anecdote, an implicit criticism of the way the Government functions, or a moral fable, thanks to the irony he uses all through the text.

The Quite American

5271 words - 22 pages falling in love with Indo-China, of drinking ‘a magic potion’ there. His novel stands as a testament to the beauty and richness of Vietnam, a country which has so often been identified only with violence, war, and misery. In The Quiet American, I think that Greene is saying, through Fowler, that it is better to yield to the magic, to let it work on us, rather than to interfere with it or try to improve upon it, as Pyle and the Americans do

Dien Bien Phu

1234 words - 5 pages placement were concerned. I found myself reading sentences twice just to follow along with the continuity. Nevertheless, the books historical relevance and continuity with well-known Vietnam era history, made this read very entertaining. 13. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. It is a very readable book and contains a lot of historical information. I learned several things about the Vietnam War that I did not know before which put my understanding into a new light.


586 words - 3 pages Vietnamese people. For a nation who had gone through massive destructions and tragedies it’s noble that they can still be selfless and think of the greater good. Japan’s Fukushima region transformed from rural haven to ravaged wasteland when the earthquake and tsunami struck (Demetriou, 2011). A 9.0 magnitude earthquake causes a destructive tsunami takes the lives of almost 18,000 people. And in the other side not too long ago the Vietnam was

Related Essays

A Cold War, Indeed Essay

588 words - 3 pages A Cold War, Indeed Lisa Lloyd Kaplan University The Vietnam War, otherwise known as the Cold War, was one of the worst of so many tragic experiences for the United States, (U.S.) during the 20th century. It is odd how differently this horrific war is viewed through various eyes. The following is the account of what comes to the minds of three individuals when asked about the Cold War. Vietnam Vet, Bob Hutson stated “that was

Vietnamization And It's Lasting Effects On South Vietnam And It's Fall

4091 words - 17 pages nation. "Vietnamization" was the name for the plan to allow South Vietnam to stand on its own, and ended in leaving a country totally on its own, unable to stand and fight. Vietnam was a French territory until the Viet Minh insurgency of the late 1940's and through 1954. Although regarding this uprising as part of a larger Communist conspiracy, Americans were not unsympathetic to Vietnamese aspirations for national independence

Love Is Blind Essay

1323 words - 6 pages Globalization is an inevitable phenomenon in human history that has been bringing the world closer through the exchange of goods and products, information, knowledge and culture. Vietnam affected much from globalization has some prominent changes in economic, and socio-culture. Firstly, the development of Vietnamese economic has changed rapidly due to the globalization. Until 1986, Viet Nam had operated as a centrally planned

Vietnam Report

1773 words - 8 pages countries to have unproductive human resources. This simple fact altered completely the vision up to then constructed to all of us, as from a national issue we have now a vision of a geographical issue, located in the South East Asia region. Findings Understanding cultural limitations helps to understand the solutions, therefore one can argue that some of the biggest issues in Vietnam are a work force lacking motivation, and inefficient