Question #6

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Question #6

Post  connorbronson on Wed May 04, 2011 6:03 pm

6. Comment on the use of profanity in this book.

I believe that the profanity in this book is not a tool to express the author's or character's emotions but rather it is a necessity to reveal a dialect of the soldiers in Vietnam. Just as how some authors use southern dialect or "old west" dialect, the "soldier" dialect in this novel naturally includes extreme profanity in a world where they are the enforcers of their own rules. Everyday the soldiers encounter killing, death, gore, drugs, and immoral acts, in comparison, profanity is not a the top of their or their commander's worries.

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Response to Connor

Post  John Patrikis on Wed May 04, 2011 6:16 pm

I also believe that profanity was used as a tool to express the dialect of the soldiers in Vietnam. Also, I think that it was used to make the book sound realistic. Soldiers in war become isolated from society and have no restrictions to what they say. O'Brien also could have used it to emphasize that the soldiers tried to act tough or powerful by using such language. The drug reference can also be used to display that in order to stay sane in war, soldiers needed to feel some sort of happiness that they could not obtain themselves, and resorted to drugs.

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Re: Question #6

Post  Scott Davis on Wed May 04, 2011 9:02 pm

While I agree that O'Brien implemented the use of profanity and, as John stated, the drug reference in order to portray a realistic image of the war, I also believe there was a much deeper meaning. I believe the profanity also represted fear within the soldiers. Profanity is a form of displaying emotion, in this case fear or resentment, towards a particular situation. Profanity could also be seen as a representation of war. Profanity is vile and often produces a disturbing image through explicit content, as does war. War is violent and filled with unimaginable horror; therefore, profanity is a strong representation of it.

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