Comparing Beowulf 'And The Things They Carried'

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Four various pieces of literature unveil a covert link that ties the war-related pieces together. Throughout the novels: Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and the presentations: “Why Veterans Miss War” by Sebastian Junger, “Women, Wartime, and the Dream of Peace” by Zainab Salbi all happen to display a central theme of the different parts of war. However, all four texts uniquely show experience to be an important aspect of war. In Beowulf, Beowulf himself defeated Grendel to become a hero while his people showed him gratitude. In The Things They Carried, Mr. O’Brien accounted that several of his friends (like Kiowa) died right near him in the war in Vietnam progressing into post-war trauma. Sebastian Junger also stated…show more content…
Post-war trauma (PTSD) is the expression of anxiety that occurs after a traumatic incident. For example, Wiglaf (in the story Beowulf) becomes frozen in shock when he saw the dragon attack Beowulf; therefore Wiglaf could not muster the courage to fight. In addition after several years from when the incident occurred, Zainab Salbi expresses guilt for praying for her family’s safety while another family got killed in an explosion in Iraq. Tim O’Brien stated in his novel, that he had dreams about the dead people that have closely affected him in his life (Ted Lavender, Kiowa, Linda, etc.). Lastly, Sebastian Junger states that after coming back from war, many soldiers like him feel alienated because of the lack of warfare and brotherhood with soldiers that they had gotten used to. All these examples show that the effects of being present at war can leave a scar of pain and guilt for a lifetime. Overall, the several examples from all four texts are a reminder that experiencing combat leads to a new element of war called post-war trauma

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