Western Literature

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Date Submitted: 09/13/2012 07:43 PM

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Yi Zhong

Western World Literature and Composition

Professor Gillette

Feb. 8th 2011

1. FIRST RESPONSE. Discuss whether you think this story is primarily about war or peace.

I think it is a story that reflects war and peace indirectly. The author described many scenes about the war through the narrator’s recollecting as a solider of infantry in Vietnam. What’s more, as the narrator is filled with guilty conscience and regrets, I think the story is against war but for peace.

2. Comment on the purpose and effect of the first paragraph. How does it draw you into the narrator’s conflicted sense of himself?

The purposes of the first paragraph are not only attracting readers’ attention, but also explain the background of the narrator as well as what he is struggling in his mind. I was drawn by his very unusual experiences during the Vietnam War, and extremely wanted to know how and why he is so entangled. In addition, I wanted to know what will happen to him next when he is struggling.

3. How might the Vietnam setting be described as an antagonist in the story?

According to the author, it is crowded (fulfilled with bikes, three-wheeled cyclos, motorbikes, but few cars) as wave in the streets, people there are rustic, and facilities including equipment in hospital are inferior. In the narrator’s opinion, there are large differences between the United States and the Vietnam. However, in my opinion, the Vietnam is poor but quiet, a little chaos but people there are hopeful in their hearts.

6. Trace the narrator’s reaction to Vietnam and its people from the beginning to the end of the story. Explain why you think his attitudes remain constant or change.

Obviously, his attitudes have varied. At first, the narrator feel sick of Vietnam and its people, because he thinks the condition there is so bad, the people there is vulgar. Also, he came to Vietnam with great spiritual pressure including sense of guilt, fear of overwhelming with emotion and so on. Day...