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Free Things They Carried Essays: The True Enemies

The True Enemies in The Things They Carried

In Tim O’Brien’s Story “Enemies,” one sees several signs that explain the aspects of the Vietnam War, and the actions of two soldiers that snapped under the pressure built up by the war. These pressures caused little tiny things to create tension not only in the minds of soldiers, but also between two soldiers. For example, conflicts grew between Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen.

Two soldiers, whose actions were sparked by the craziness of the war, Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen’s argument over a jackknife illustrates a perfect example of how tension built up during the war. Both men know all to well what was gong on in the war, they understood that many times they encountered men who they thought were South Vietnamese, but with the quick pull of a gun or knife a whole battle resulted because of the unknown association between the South Vietnamese and the Vietcong. On the message bard, Jeff Jacobie stated, “soldiers in Vietnam were never sure who they could trust; they were not sure if the peasants they were around were secretly loyal to the VC or not.” This lack of defined enemy drove the soldiers in the war berserk. Throughout the war, an unclear enemy caused many problems for the Americans. They would ambush a town, and before they knew it, they were under scrutiny for killing people who may or may not of had any association with the Vietcong. Yet, it was a risk they had to take in the war, and this risk caused immense stress and tension for soldiers “humping” through the rice fields of Vietnam.

Not only from not knowing who the enemy was, tension also grew in the soldiers because of their loneliness and lack of understanding for why they were in Vietnam. Most of the time, soldiers humped around the lonely land of Vietnam with the same guys for months except for the occasional supply chopper that came in or the brief radio contacts with headquarters in order to receive backup and orders. Soldiers had very little contact with others, and this isolation would drive any man crazy. In order to get by, the soldiers had to rely on each other. If they could not trust each other with their lives, none of them would ever make it back to the States to enjoy the aspects of life away form war.

Repression of Women Exposed in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles

The Repression of Women Exposed in Trifles

Susan Glaspell in Trifles explores the repression of women. Since the beginning of time, women have been looked down upon by men. They have been considered “dumb” and even a form of property. Being physically and emotionally abused by men, women in the early 1900’s struggled to break the mold formed by society.

Even with the pain of bearing children, raising them, doing household and even farm chores, their efforts have never been truly appreciated. Mrs. Wright was “…real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid—and fluttery…” as Mrs. Hale, her neighbor, describes her (22). This would all soon change after her wedding day. With Mr. Wright’s insipid character and lack of patience of any joyous sound, Mrs. Wright’s spirit dwindled to nothing. It seems she spent hours at a time focusing on her quilts, preserves, and caring for the only life there was in the house, her canary. Even when Mr. Hale offered to get a party telephone, Mr. Wright responded, “…folks talk too much anyway…”(5). This silence he preferred also applied to his spouse. There were no hugs given out much less a smile. He failed to give her even the most minimal sing of appreciation much less the emotional warmth she hungered for.

The coldness felt in the house as the sheriff and court attorney entered the house symbolized the same coldness brought about by Mr. Wright. For the house to be cold and gloomy and everything else outside the total opposite, was much more than just coincidence. It was as if when you entered the house a cadaver, cold and clammy, had embraced you in its arms. “ I don’t think a place’d be any cheerfuller for John Wright’s being in it”, Mrs. Hale told the court attorney (11). Mrs. Hale knew perfectly well what kind of personality Mr. Wright had, which is why she specified that she wished that she had gone to visit Mrs. Wright when only she was there. “There’s a great deal of work to be done on a farm”, says Mrs. Hale, yet they are seen as mere trifles because it is the women who take on these tasks.

“The treatment of women in ‘Trifles’”, a web site that analyzes the demeanor of women throughout the play, states “ The women are betrayed as if they are second class citizens with nothing more important to think about, except to take care of the medial household chores like cooking, cleaning, and sewing.

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