Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Again using this Blog to upload schoolwork, I'll delete it later.

Literary Terms
Carmen Aistrup

1. “One of them- her name was Sam- asked what I was going to do when I got home. The question embarrassed me. I was so embarrassed, I think she felt bad.
She made a few jokes and I laughed harder then I should have, and she went off to the next guy.
I remembered sitting in the counselors office on my second week of high school. (etc etc)”

This is an example of a flashback. Because Perry was asked by the nurse what he was going to do for a career, he was reminded of a similar experience in his second week of high school. His counselor had asked something similar, and when Perry had told her that he wanted to be a philosopher, she had laughed at him. Richie was hurt and embarrassed by this, so the same feelings were recalled when the nurse asked about what he was going to do back in the world. The theme of this would be best accounted to PTSD, because although it’s not war related trauma, he was emotionally affected by something in his childhood and it effected him in his later life.

2. “Shock. Pain. Nobody wanted to look at anybody else. Nobody wanted to talk. There was nothing to say. Lieutenant Carroll’s death was close. It hung around our shoulders and filled the space in between us. Lieutenant Carroll had sat with us, had been afraid with us, had worried about us. Now he was dead.”

This is an example of the tone of the story. The writer talks about the death of a soldier and the way the other men in his squad react to it. Rather than glorifying death in battle, like some writers do, this writer takes a grim view of Lieutenant Carroll’s death on the battlefield. Instead of with bias, he narrated the truth about what it’s like after a death of a squad-mate. In this way, his tone is one of grim realism. The theme of this passage is The Unromantic Reality of War. (give me a break, I lost my paper and I got the themes of Sparknotes. But it works, right?)

3. “I heard the rounds buzzing and whining around my head like angry bees.”

This is an example of an onomatopoeia. The word buzz makes a “zzzzzzzzzz” sounds, a steady hum, just like the sound it describes. The word “whine” is also an onomatopoeia. It has a nasally tone, because the long I sound is being projected from the nose. The word whine implies a nasally, grating tone. The theme of this passage is probably also the Grim Reality of War.

4. “We got back, and they had laid the body out on the ground. The arms were out, and the legs were crossed at the ankles. I walked by him. He wasn’t any bigger than Kenny.” (page 80)

This is an example of metaphor. When Perry is walking past the dead Vietcong, he should have thought that it was just a trophy- but instead he noticed how small and human the VC was, and that he was the same size as his brother Kenny. In this was he’s relating to the enemy, something that soldiers in a battle are conditioned not to do. The metaphor is that he compared the VC to Kenny, although he not. The theme of this quote is the moral ambiguity of war, shown in the way they treat the body and the way Perry emotionally reacts to it.

5. “You pray a lot in the World?” I asked him
“Yeah, I prayed a lot,” Brew said. “But, man, I didn’t pray nowhere near as hard.” (page 106)

This is an example of characterization. Brew and Perry are talking about God, and praying, and Perry asked whether Brew used to play, to which he replies, “Yeah, I prayed a lot, but not nearly as hard.” This shows that although Brew was a bit religious back in the World, in Vietnam, fear for his life makes him pray fervently more frequently. This could mean he really believes in God and is trying to reconcile so He lets Brew live, or it could mean that he doesn’t believe but he’s not taking the chance. It also says something about Perry- most of Perry’s role in the book is quiet, except when asking questions or answering questions. The theme of this passage is Faith.


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