Statement 7

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Statement 7

Post  cody young on Mon May 09, 2011 9:17 pm

7. Norman Bowker enjoyed being home afgter the war.

Bowker is attached to the daily life of war after years of fighting, it has become a normalcy for him. He returns to Iowa after fighting in Vietnam with a feeling of solitude, guilt and built up pain. He feels unable to tell his father of his war stories and believes that no one will understand his pain, therefore he keeps it to himself. Even on the Fourth of July, a normally joyous holiday associated with companionship and celebration, he drives his father’s Chevrolet around the lake in solitude. he realizes that he has nowhere to go. He thinks about his highschool girlfriend who is now married, and his friend max who drowned in a lake. These negative thoughts add to the lonelyness and hoplessness he already feels. It deeply bothers him that his father is proud of his accomplishments in the war and the medals he recieved, because in actuallity he didnt act with courage like his father thinks. When Kiowa was killed by a mortar, Bowker let him sink in the mud in order to save himself. This feeling of guilt eats away at his heart. Although Bowker is relieved to be home, the great contrast in lifestyle along with his inability to share his experiences and cope with his problems leads him into a state of hopelessness and depression. Norman didnt enjoy being home after the war, because he couldnt cope with the traumas he experienced, and because the assumption he had that no one in the town would understand him.

cody young

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Re: Statement 7

Post  Jaclyn Izzo on Mon May 09, 2011 10:47 pm

Cody, this point makes the reader really think about the effects of coming home from war. Families normally celebrate a safe homecoming of their loved one, and are releved that their life was not taken from them. However the vertern may have mixed confusing feelings about coming home such as Bowker did. I agree with your thinking on bringing this to the forum, it should make others realize that the tramua soliders go through is for life, and coming home may leave awakward uncomfortable feelings. Maybe solider do not feel at "home" when they finally arrive back to their hometown, because they have been gone so long...

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Re: Statement 7

Post  Domdith on Tue May 10, 2011 8:16 am

Cody, I agree with your statement that Norman Bowker din't enjoy coming home after the Vietnam war. I like the point you made about Norman not telling his father about the war story because he was scared of his dad thinking that Norman wasn't courageous enough because he let his friend Kiowa die in combat. I also feel like he was scared to tell the story because he knew already how unpopular the Vietnam war was and how many people felt like the United States shouldn't have even been in Vietnam in the first place. I would say that Norman felt shameful about not saving his friend and the level of negativity that the majority of the U.S poplulation felt towards it. An example of this is when Norman is at the burger shop and he is about to share his story with her but then suddenly stops and takes back his previous statement. I think you also could have added how Norman Bowker ended up killing himself three years later at a local YMCA. The suicide clearly shows that the guilt and pain that you talked about before really was to much for him to handle and it lead him to suicide.

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