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Dispatches - Hart 1 Julian Hart Mr Prichett Writing 100...

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Hart 1 Julian Hart Mr. Prichett Writing 100 October 24 th ,2008 A Critical Analysis of Dispatches Michael Herr describes his experience as a correspondent in the Vietnam War in the novel Dispatches. Herr is the journalist for the Esquire Magazine and covers two significant military operations of the Vietnam War, the battle of Khe Sahn and the recapture of Hue. Herr had no prior experience in War and had a perspective of War depicted in the media by fictional war movies and war stories. His perspective changes as he is faced with the gruesome reality of war’s destruction. He reveals the emotional and physical impact war has on the soldiers that he encounters throughout the novel. Herr uses multiple literary techniques to depict the truth behind war including characterization, setting, imagery, and themes. Herr begins the novel describing a map on the wall of his apartment in Saigon. He admires the map and states, “That map was a marvel especially now that the map wasn’t real anymore… The paper had buckled in its frame after years in the wet, laying a kind of veil over the countries it depicted. Vietnam was divided into its older territories…” (Herr 3). This description gives the audience a feeling of both physical feeling of the environment, and a historical perspective of Vietnams experience with War. The physical feeling relates to the description of the wet and humid climate. Herr’s observations of map also leave the reader with information regarding to Vietnam’s past. The divided
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Hart 2 regions signify that Vietnam has a past and a culture that has experienced War on their own homeland. During Herr’s tour he describes an event that characterizes the manipulation of information in War. Herr’s squad was on a mission, to search and destroy the Viacom.
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