Courage Essay

Courage Essay - Embarrassment Courage is typically defined...

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Embarrassment Courage is typically defined as the moral or mental strength to overcome and persevere danger, fear or struggle. While this is the definition that comes to mind to most people when thinking of courage, Tim O’ Brian, in his novel The Things They Carried , implies that courage is something entirely different. The themes of almost all the stories in this novel revolve around courage, and what it means to each individual character. O’ Brien lets the reader understand that the heroic acts done in this novel are not because of bravery, but the soldiers overwhelming fear of shame. O’ Brien’s definition of cowardice is very similar to ours of courage. In this novel, the characters courage is derived from the fear of embarrassment and shame, not from true bravery. When O’Brien was twenty one, he was drafted in the army. In college, he had protested against the war and even published articles in the schools newspaper about anti- war propaganda. His first thoughts at the sight of his draft notice were “I was too good for this war. Too smart, too compassionate, too everything. It couldn’t happen. I was above it” (O’ Brien 41). At this point, he had graduated college and was given a full ride scholarship to Harvard University for his graduate studies. After telling his father that he will spend the summer contemplating his choices, he goes to work at a slaughterhouse. The work is terrible, and he begins to feel like his life is spiraling out of control.
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Courage Essay - Embarrassment Courage is typically defined...

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