Vietnam War Stories: Innocence Lost by TOBEY C. HERZOG


The Gulf warfare and its aftermath have testified once more to the importance put on the meanings and photographs of Vietnam by means of US media and tradition. nearly twenty years after the tip of hostilities, the Vietnam conflict continues to be a dominant ethical, political and armed forces touchstone in American cultural awareness. Vietnam battle tales offers a entire severe framework for knowing the Vietnam event, Vietnam narratives and sleek struggle literature. The narratives tested - own bills in addition to novels - painting a soldier's and a country's trip from pre-war innocence, via battlefield adventure and attention, to a tricky post-war adjustment. Tobey Herzog locations those narratives in the context of vital cultural and literary topics, together with inherent ironies of battle, the "John Wayne syndrome" of pre-war innocence, and the "heavy Heart-of-Darkness journey" of the clash itself.

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1948] 1981, 216) A similar sympathetic identification with the enemy occurs in Dos Passos’ World War I novel Three Soldiers as Chrisfield’s hatred for the enemy suddenly ebbs when he stumbles across the body of a German soldier who committed suicide by shooting himself in the face ([1921] 1949, 149). Perhaps one of the most famous death-recognition scenes in modern war literature portrays Yossarian’s ineffectual efforts in Catch-22 to aid Snowden, the wounded tail-gunner whom Yossarian believes is not seriously wounded.

In striking ways, characters in the Vietnam narratives fall into the same categories. They range from the unreflecting fools, the naïve Alden Pyle in The Quiet American, to those individuals, as both observers and participants, who are simultaneously attracted and repelled by the horrors of war. ) to control their actions and psyches and to hold off atavistic regression. ” Consequently, narrators and characters in these Vietnam narratives embark on heavy heart-of-darkness journeys as they proceed from the world of straightforward facts and John Wayne myths; through the literal and metaphysical darkness of the jungle; to some measure of truth, self-awareness, and judgement— Fussell’s three stages.

Any war…. I’m saying that the feel of war is the same in Nam or Okinawa— the emotions are the same, the same fundamental stuff is seen and remembered. (O’Brien [1978] 1979, 237) Readers of modern war literature would be hard pressed to dismiss Doc’s logic, but they would have equal difficulty ignoring the commonly held notion that each war also has its own character— images, political ideology, battlefield strategy, geography, participants, and technology influencing soldiers’, civilians’, and artists’ reactions to the war.

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