Matthew Lockhart 12/15/2013 English Essay
In the story “On the Rainy River” a 20-year old named Tim O’Brien is about to be given the freedom to go anywhere in life until he receives a draft notice requiring him to join the army in the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien is tested both physically and mentally. He has the option to flee to Canada or go to the war. Each option would result in abandoning family, friends, and fond memories. In his essay “Shooting an Elephant,” reminisces about a bad decision he made earlier in life, just like Tim. Reflecting on his experience, Orwell has also identified the reasons why he did it: “I could get nothing into perspective. I was young and ill-educated and I had to think out my problems in utter silence,” Tim O’Brien also dealt with his problems alone, “ I felt isolated; I spent a lot of time alone.” Both Tim and George are struggling to deal with their problems and it’s eating away at them.
In “On the Rainy River,” having a good education doesn’t have much on an impact on Tim’s life, because if your nation calls on you to defend your country, you’re going to have to make a difficult decision on whether you’re going to flee or going to war. Being educated makes Tim more open-minded, and prevents him from indulging in the nationalism that was sweeping the nation during that time. Although Tim may have good reasons we shouldn’t be in the war, the nation was depending on men like him.
In “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell says “ …I could get nothing into perspective. I was young and ill-educated and I had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East.” George Orwell is trying to say that when you’re young and inexperienced you’re bound to make a lot of mistakes. When you’re young your family, peers, and own country have influenced your opinions. Many individuals are afraid and unwilling to deviate from the...
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