Responce to question #11

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Responce to question #11

Post  AviHershkowitz on Wed May 04, 2011 9:25 pm

The chapter titled "spin" is a very significant part of this book because it sheds new light on the attutude and mindset of the soldiers. Towards the beginning of this chapter O'Brien compares the war to a Ping-Pong ball by saying "you can put a spin on it, you could make it dance". This shows how although the soldiers might think they are in control of each battle, as a person putting a spin on a ball might feel as if they know exactally where it is going to land or even the person who is recieving the ball might know where it is going to bounce to, neither side can tell the out come of the battle and it shows how unpredictable war can be. Also, this can be compared to almost any situation that one might face in present society because, no matter how hard one trys to control the out come of a specific event (such as a surgery or even a simple thing such as a relationship), it is not something that a human being has any power over and the end result is unpredictable. This chapter also starts to add to the personality of each character by actually describing them as humans who joke around, laugh, and even play games during the war. This is so signifcant because up to this point in the book the author had solely been decribing the soldiers by stating negative facts about each of them and sharing all of the problems that has arisen from the war. O'brien comes right out and says in this chapter, unlike in the previous ones about death and depression, that not all stories are gory and depressing but happy and peaceful. He then goes and give specific examples of peaceful and happy events that shows the audience that the soldiers actually have humanistic qualities, being that the audience has recieved the implied feeling that they are robots who only care about killing and are worried about death.

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Re: Responce to question #11

Post  Connor Leardini on Wed May 04, 2011 11:08 pm

I agree with every perspective that you shed light on within that chapter, except for one point that was made. It is not so much a wrong point, but a different way of looking at the reason of why O' Brien gave a more comical viewpoint on the characters. The main reason, I believe, is that instead of giving more humanistic qualities to the war, as stated by Avi, it is that the author was attempting to show a more humanistic side to the actual characters. It is true that war is presented as always serious, mundane, and brutal. However, much of the people that make up these wars have their reputations tarnished and their own country's views on them are completely skewed. By showing that the "dogs of the military" can have a sense of humor, be relatable characters, and have all the qualities that make up a regular human being in society, O' Brien puts a new, and obviously more accurate, spin on how men during this time in war are just as susceptible to regular human emotions as anybody else.

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Re: Responce to question #11

Post  Greer on Thu May 05, 2011 12:30 am

Before I logged into this forum, I really hadn't thought about the title of the chapter as being significant. But I agree with what both of you are saying. If you look at the end of the chapter on page 36, the final paragraph is him snapping back to reality. "Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now." This entire chapter has little snippets of him rushing back to reality, and then falling into the flashback. It's almost like O'Brien is doing one of those freewrites, where you just write and write and write whatever is on your mind without editing yourself or stopping to think about what you're writing. The whole feel of the chapter is very unedited, and incredibly personal. I think the title "Spin" is very fitting because it's he's writing about tiny fragments of memory that don't really have a place or a time in his mind, but they stand out and just sort tumble around inside his head. His thoughts are 'spinning' now just as much as they did when he was in war. He calls it "memory traffic" where "imagination flows in and the traffic merges and shoots off down a thousand different streets. As a writer, all you can do is pick a street, and go for a ride, putting things down as they come at you."

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Re: Responce to question #11

Post  Admin on Fri May 06, 2011 11:25 am

Greer wrote:Before I logged into this forum, I really hadn't thought about the title of the chapter as being significant. But I agree with what both of you are saying. If you look at the end of the chapter on page 36, the final paragraph is him snapping back to reality. "Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now." This entire chapter has little snippets of him rushing back to reality, and then falling into the flashback. It's almost like O'Brien is doing one of those freewrites, where you just write and write and write whatever is on your mind without editing yourself or stopping to think about what you're writing. The whole feel of the chapter is very unedited, and incredibly personal. I think the title "Spin" is very fitting because it's he's writing about tiny fragments of memory that don't really have a place or a time in his mind, but they stand out and just sort tumble around inside his head. His thoughts are 'spinning' now just as much as they did when he was in war. He calls it "memory traffic" where "imagination flows in and the traffic merges and shoots off down a thousand different streets. As a writer, all you can do is pick a street, and go for a ride, putting things down as they come at you."
Greer your response is very insightful-great job!

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