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Character analysis of Rat Kiley online essay help International Affairs/Relations assignment help

Fear, death, and depression. These are all weights that can burden one throughout life. Tim O’Brien’s war stories often speak of emotional baggage by describing the person carrying them rather than the burdens themselves. In novel The Things They Carried, the author Tim O’Brien uses the character of Rat Kiley to better illustrate the emotional burdens that the soldiers in the Vietnam War faced. Rat was the platoon’s medic until he went crazy with fear and paranoia. He is very complex, especially when compared to the simple, brute men like Azar, Strunk or Jensen.

Rat cares for everyone, not only when they are injured, but also when they are dead. He does this by sending letters to the family of the soldier, hoping to get a response and very rarely receiving one. The fact that he continues these efforts that are rarely noticed shows that he is a very caring character. His good-hearted spirit is also shown by his attempts to control his anger and emotions. This kind and hospitable mentality causes the audience to be put in a stage of shock when he goes crazy.

The reader just doesn’t expect the “nice guy” to have horrific things to happen to him. It also expresses that anyone can break, even if he doesn’t deserve it. Rat Kiley is very different from most of the characters and his personality often clashes with the men in platoon. He is not like Azar who is immature and racist. Instead he is kind to all the men, even the ones that don’t like him. Nevertheless, his emotions do get the better of him; but rather than embracing hate and anger, he fights these feelings.

He battles them to the brink of insanity. This instability is shown when he kills a baby water buffalo. He doesn’t kill the beast because it was dangerous or injured, but because he felt so much emotion and pain after the death of his best friend Curt Lemon. Tim O’Brien writes of this saying, “He shot off the tail. He shot away chunks of meat below the ribs” (O’Brien 75) and later says, “Rat Kiley was crying. He tried to say something, but then cradled his rifle and went off by himself” (O’Brien 76).

Unlike Azar who kills the puppy for no reason and feels no remorse, Rat kills the buffalo because of sadness and pain and cries after killing it. The fact that he didn’t want to kill the buffalo shows that he is not a monster, but rather a man trying to fight the monster inside of him. The killing of the water buffalo wasn’t the only thing that showed the effect of the emotional burdens on Rat; rather it was more his stories that showed them. He would often tell stories of how heroic a deceased man in the platoon was to the family members in his letters to them.

Many times theses stories were not true. O’Brien speaks of his letters saying, “Later in the week he would write a long personal letter to the guy’s sister, who would not write back, but for now it was a question of pain”(O’Brien 75). Rat knows he won’t receive a letter back, but he continues to do so. Perhaps it wasn’t just to comfort the family, but more to comfort himself and to cover up the hurt that he felt with loss of every man. Maybe he was just hoping for some interaction with the outside world or felt guilty for every man he didn’t save.

Whatever the reason it shows how war can make even the strongest men so desperate and insecure. Another story that showed his instability was the tale of Mary Anne Bell. He claimed it was one-hundred percent true, but everyone knows it’s not. Not to mention it’s extremely creepy. Basically the story is about a girl whose fiance flies her out to Vietnam (which would never happen) and she basically goes crazy because she feels liberated by fighting in the war. At the end of the story she’s wearing a necklace of tongues, sneaking around the jungle. It’s creepy.

The fact that Rat believes it’s true and the sheer-madness of the story obviously shows that Kiley has some serious problems in the head. Instead of causing pointless violence, he tries to suppress these problems and burdens by telling these stories. Throughout life one must face many obstacles and pain. The pain, however, rarely lessens. In fact, they usually exacerbate. Likewise, Rat’s burdens get worse, but he continues to move on until finally he snaps. This time it wasn’t like with the buffalo, where he was fine after venting some serious emotion.

No, this time it was much worse. He didn’t just break. In this case, he could not be fixed and he was lost. Rat couldn’t just tell a story about how heroic an already dead man was to comfort himself, because this time the soldiers he was distraught about were still alive. He was beginning to imagine what every soldier would look like injured or dead. He had received so much pain from being a medic that he was overflowing and breaking apart under the metaphorical pressure.

According to O’Brien “The strain was too much for him. He couldn’t make the adjustment” (O’Brien 208). This event really shows how powerful and heavy the emotional burdens that the men carried were, because the first time he snapped he was able to recover. However, this time he didn’t recover and he remained in pain and with fear. In fact, the fear was so great he ended up shooting himself in the foot. The audience doesn’t receive any closure on Rat’s pain, leaving the reader to question if Kiley was ever fixed.

Yes, he did leave Vietnam safely with only a bullet hole in his foot, but there is no true closure on the subject. The reader is left with a feeling of ambiguity, wondering if he recovered or if the emotions continued to build up until he lost it like Norman Bowker and killed himself. Soldiers of the Vietnam War faced many physical challenges. However, it was the emotional challenges that would affect not only the men but all who interacted with them for years to come.

When Kiley lost his mind all the men in his platoon felt sorry for him. They were concerned for him when he killed the buffalo and when he was overcome with paranoia. They had felt the same emotions he was expressing and were relieved when he freed of the war. They were relieved because they knew how hard he had fought not to become a monster. The men believed that Kiley deserved to be free of the emotional burdens of war. When Rat left ‘Nam, they were overcome. Overcome not with fear and pain but with hope. Hope for the future.

Gender role specialization

Gender role specialization.

Description This essay is for sociology course (sociology of the family). Think strategically about this assignment to show what you have learned from reading material. The book the second shift that writer need to find the summary by yourself from the website to understanding since I don not have the ebook or PDF. The requirements are in the additional files (Prompts and ORGANIZATION OF THE PAPER), please read them first. In the prompts, there are five questions that need to be answered. They are pretty much about how social changes impacted the gender role specialization in the US before 1950s and after. We do not need outside sources. Only course readings should be enough. Cited page is not necessary, but please do mind ASA FORMAT FOR CITING QUOTES AND KEY IDEAS (please read ORGANIZATION OF THE PAPER for details). The following are some of the highlights in Prompts. In this essay, explain why it is important to understand the ideology of gender role specialization in social context. What greater insights into family dynamics might be gained from taking a sociological perspective on gender role norms? How might a family benefit from a more flexible understanding of gender norms? Note that this essay is NOT a criticism of male breadwinner/female caretaker families. Rather, you are looking at social and economic factors that have made this arrangement less feasible for many families. In terms of grading, the readers and I will generally be looking for presentation of argument and evidence that you have learned course material. When evaluating “creative voice” the readers and I are not expecting you to present a profoundly original perspective in this essay, but we would like to see that you have given the topic enough thought to make the material your own. It is not necessary to attach a Work Cited page to this essay unless you refer to material not assigned in the course readings.

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