Question 2

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Post  Richard yacobellis on Mon May 09, 2011 7:42 pm

Since people seem to be avoiding this question, I guess I'll try my hand at it.

We all have seen that, throughout the book, O'brien has used the perspective of his characters in telling the events of each chapter. These perspectives are designed to invoke the specific emotions of people in the war through this "direct" source, an effect that is apparent in the empathy experienced during Lt. Jimmy Cross's recollections. Therefore, the intention behind using Rat's character as a channel is to convey a specific feeling or atmosphere.

The atmosphere of Rat Kiley's story is one of solemnity and tragedy. While the story starts out light hearted, his morbid visage foreshadows the tragic events that the story leads up to. Then, when the story meets its climax, its serious and sad nature are amplified by that "dark, far-off look in his eyes" and the "small, tired motion" in his shoulders. The utter reality of it all is fully weigh on both the character audience and the reader. It shows that anyone, no matter how pure, can be changed into into something inhuman. In this way, a story that would have been thought as nonsense using O'brien's words is taken at its face value.

Richard yacobellis

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