Question #6

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Question #6

Post  Swayze Page on Wed May 04, 2011 2:53 pm

The question was to comment on the profanity used in the book. War is ugly that is the bottom-line. In this book the soldiers frequently use profanity as a direct result of this. War places stress on a man that no one can even imagine. The constant uncertainty about whether or not one might live or die in an instant places stress on a man. When placed in the grand scheme of things to soldiers being politically correct and not using profanity seems less important than surviving. When an individual is stressed usually they tend to use profanity. Also the amount of repulsive things that a soldier in war is exposed to tends to lead to this. In vietnam the war was not just against vietnamese soldiers but also the civilians. American soldiers were forced to burn down vietnamese villages and sometimes kill the inhabitants. Children, women, and the elderly could sometimes be unintended victims of the war. Being exposed to all these horrors of war profanity just seems as though it is a natural human response to the stress and repulse that comes with war. Sharing a personal note my Grandfather was in the vietnam war and was so scarred by the events that happened there that he rarely shared any experiences with anyone. He would have flashbacks that would scare him as well as those around him. This just emphasizes the fact that the vietnam war exposed the soldiers to horrors and stress that no human can be prepared for and as a result dramatically impacts their actions. These actions include the use of profanity. Profanity is just another way of life for the soldiers. Profanity is a way of survival. Profanity is life to these soldiers.

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Response to Swayze

Post  abbgately on Wed May 04, 2011 3:49 pm

Swayze, you make a good point. Americans in the Vietnam War had to do awful and purely horrifying things to a variety of people. Also, you were right about stress being a reason for the overuse of profanity. Another reason for the use of profanity is to sound tougher/older. Profanity was like a shield for the soldiers. If they cursed and were crass about tragic situations, it could not hurt them. This emotional blockade is still used today with soldiers and civilians. Instead of breaking down and crying, people curse and blow off the situation. It also made the young men sound older. Most were only high school graduates. Profanity let them mask their age and sound a lot older than what they truly were.

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Response to Swayze

Post  Troy Viking on Wed May 04, 2011 4:53 pm

I agree with what both Swayze and abbgately said about the profanity due to the tough times in war. The profanity shows the tone of the soldiers and how different life was in that time period fighting for your country. Although, I liked how abbgately added that profanity is used to sound older and tougher, I had not thought of that because these were just kids in the war with average age being only 19. Overall, this was just a way to show their emotion toward war, and in my mind the novel would not have the same impact if the profanity was eliminated throughout.

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