Friday, August 13, 2010

Personification

I can't decide how I feel about this chapter. On one hand I can understand why Tim would want to see the sites of Vietnam again, yet on the other hand I would never want to go back into that murky water again either. I guess it is sort of the same situation for a soldier in any war. After WWII, I know that sometimes people wished to go back and see the sites where they suffered throughout the war - whether that be a concentration camp, internment camp, fort... The places in his stories are the places he most remembers and that affected him most. They are more than mere pieces of land; they are what shaped him into the man he is today. When he looks at those familiar sites, he remembers experiences and the people he was with or the people he lost, not what the land looked like alone. In a weird way, it seemed fitting that he laid Kiowa's moccasins in the filthy water in the spot where he had died. It was like a token to his memory of sorts.
While reading Tim's description of the little field in Quang Ngai, a piece of personification stood out to me.
"This little field, I thought, had swallowed so much. My best friend. My pride. My belief in myself as a man of some small dignity and courage." (page 176)
I found it interesting that he held the land accountable for these feelings. It was as if he had left a piece of his former self there and was hoping to find it when he came back for a second time. Although I cannot say whether he succeeded or not, at least this visit was one of peace rather than one of violence.

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