A lot of veterans of the Vietnam War will remember a land that was significantly various from what they knew and were utilized to, a country that was hot and damp, loaded with diseases and traps that seemed to advantage the enemy while crippling the soldiers. The territory was unfamiliar and treacherous, as rain led to large mud spots and landslides and the jungle was simple to get lost in. The frustrating heat and humidity was a perfect climate for disease and sunstroke to develop, afflictions that affected many soldiers.
Vietnam was a hostile environment for the young American soldiers that went to fight in it, and this hostility is well portrayed in Tim O’Brien’s collection of narratives, The Things They Carried, while it is not too shown in the well-known movie “Excellent Early morning Vietnam”.
In the book The Things They Brought, the reader follows a squad of soldiers as they venture through Vietnam searching for the Vietcong.
As we read, we see that the soldiers are regularly challenged by the hostile land and need to be on their guard all the time to prevent getting hurt or separated from the remainder of the group. The book works quite well to provide the reader an impression of the unsure conditions of Vietnam, and equates a really real situation well into a more fictional context.
In specific, the story “Speaking of Courage” shows a metaphor for the uncertain conditions and surface of Vietnam. In this story, one of the characters, a young Native American soldier by the name of Kiowa, drowns in a field of mud and excrement. At the start of the story, it is discussed that the field seems solid enough, though muddy because of the endless rain. Nevertheless, as the rain goes on and the army advances on the field to discover a place to establish camp, the field ends up being progressively treacherous and when bombs begin falling around the soldiers and their settlement, the surface is exceptionally harmful, although it initially seemed somewhat safe and stable.
The occasions that occur in this field are a sign of much of the daily situations that the American soldiers needed to face in Vietnam; land that they considered safe because authority had told them it was turned out to be risky and life-threatening and the calm night rapidly turns bad as bombs start to fall. The uncertain conditions of Vietnam are well displayed in this chapter, and are likewise described in “The Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong”. In this story, a young American girl, the sweetheart of among the soldiers, is flown over to Vietnam to sign up with the squad and her boyfriend.
Yet this ends up suddenly as she does not share the soldiers’ antipathy of the land, instead discovering herself head over heels in love with the completely foreign country that is so different from everything she understands. The soldiers are mystified by the enthusiasm that Mary Ann Bell, the girl in concern, has for the Vietnamese culture and nation, and do not understand how she can love the location a lot. Again, the unpredictability of Vietnam is revealed, as it seduces some while leaving others puzzled and antagonized.
In “Excellent Morning Vietnam”, another side of the uncertainty in Vietnam is shown. Adrian Cronauer, the primary character (played by Robin Williams) shows up in Vietnam as a DJ for the radio program that is broadcast throughout the day for the entire of the nation to hear. Cronauer is initially content with his position, and feels distanced from the fighting. Nevertheless, when a bomb blows up in a dining establishment where he is eating and the report is censored by the U.S. army, Cronauer is confused and does not understand at all.
He was not anticipating attacks on Saigon, where he and the majority of the brand-new forces are stationed, mainly since none of the attacks were enabled to be relayed. He is horrified at the censorship going on and turns to his commander-in-chief, Sergeant Major Dickerson and says: “What are you afraid of Dickerson? Individuals might learn there’s a war going on?”1 This reveals the unpredictable conditions of Vietnam since the soldiers who have actually just been moved into Vietnam– and normally get here in Saigon– hardly have any information to work with, due to the fact that they do not know who or where the enemy is, and do not even know that the war has actually gotten to where the head office are.
Though “Excellent Early morning Vietnam” shows to a small degree the unpredictability of battling a war in Vietnam, it is a Hollywood film, and for that reason over-exaggerates some points while de-dramatizing others. It does disappoint much of the uncertainty that is felt out in the field, where the soldiers are working and searching for the opponent on an everyday basis. For example, we are frequently shown scenes of soldiers relaxing, loading things onto trucks or working out, all the while listening to the radio, however we seldom see scenes of battle or violence which did take place in Vietnam. In that way, the movie does not really do an excellent job of translating the uncertain and treacherous conditions that soldiers in Vietnam found themselves in.
Fiction can serve well to reveal a reader (or watcher) without any previous experience of the subject what the situation resembled, but some forms are better than others. The benefit to movie is that we can really clearly see a set of circumstances and hence feel sorry for it better, offered it is plainly shown. However, reading a novel in which events are described in an individual voice, as is the case in The important things They Brought can likewise help to immerse the spectator into the scenario, specifically when the work is composed from various point of views or provides a view of different scenarios. If fiction is to properly depict genuine scenarios, it needs to be clear and preferably unbiased, or allow the third party to have reference points by comparing the unknown to that which is familiar, or by using brilliant imagery. All in all, fiction can show facts, but these are often obscured by the emotions that are felt when responding to a piece, whether of text or film.