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Tim O'Brien's "Bad" Vietnam War: Going after Cacciato & Its Historical Perspective

Ramtin Noor-Tehrani (Noor) Mahini, Erin Barth, Jed Morrow
2018 Theory and Practice in Language Studies  
Being the only Vietnam War author on the English curriculum for American middle and high schools, Tim O'Brien skillfully mixes his real wartime experience with fiction in his various bestsellers and awarded novels. All O'Brien's Vietnam War stories are always "bad," meaning that the war contains mostly sad and horrific experience for American soldiers and Vietnamese civilians. A closer look at O'Brien's war stories reveals that he indeed touches upon almost all issues the American GIs
more » ... rican GIs encountered during this war; nevertheless, not all online literary analysis websites and peer-reviewed authors can identify or call them all out. To assist middle and high school readers in understanding the meaning behind Tim O'Brien's Vietnam War stories, the war details in Going After Cacciato and its historical perspective are discussed in this article. The war-related issues that O'Brien touched upon in this novel are: lack of purpose, the lower standards of the American troops (McNamara's morons), desertion, lack of courage, friendly fire, fragging their own officers, and contemptuous attitude toward the Vietnamese, the very people they came to help and protect.
doi:10.17507/tpls.0811.03 fatcat:hlx2qr4bdbgjvmcsfchj6wnhz4