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Unformatted text preview: 1 Through the use of television, newspapers, magazines, and books, the media attempts to educate their audience on matters of current and historical events in order to sell their productions . The media is a business, and therefore strives to create the best product that will attract the greatest audience and increase their profits . Their use of photographs, video images, and descriptive words attempt to paint a scene for their viewers to see world events without being there themselves . Similar to the media, Michael Herr attempts to paint this same picture for the readers of his work, Dispatches . Without the help of visual aids, Herr relies on his unique and extremely personal authorial voice to place the reader in the midst of the Vietnam War . This voice relies on four specific strategies to create a unique tone in which the reader feels as if he is in the midst of the struggle in Vietnam . First, Herr structures his work with a quick paced movement, jumping from story to story, similar to the life of the American soldier jumping from station to station . In addition, the author casually presents the vulgar language of the soldiers in the war in order to give the reader the most realistic account of soldier to solider interaction . Moreover, Herr includes a casual presentation of the drug use in Vietnam, even referring to his own use of marijuana. Finally, the author shows the unpredictability of upcoming events as the soldiers fight a war without any specific aim or purpose besides increasing their kill count . Herr chose to write this essay with this specific voice, casual yet direct, random yet logical, in order to give a realistic account of the daily life of a soldier in the Vietnam War . The first technique Herr uses to present a realistic portrayal of the war is the quick paced movement of the story which parallels with the life of soldier . In Vietnam, soldiers traveled from station to station, often without any specific purpose . This constant transferring created constant stress and exhaustion amongst the soldiers . As Herr writes, “As long as we could have 2 choppers like taxis it took real exhaustion or depression near shock or a dozen pipes of opium to keep us even apparently quiet, we’d still be running around in our skins like something was after us .” 1 The helicopters moved soldiers like taxi cars, with soldiers sometimes flying five to six times a day ....
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2009 for the course HIST 1531 taught by Professor Chang, d during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.
- Spring '08
- CHANG, D