Kien - Bao Ninh establishes the unreliability of Kien’s...

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Kien’s memory in The Sorrow of War Jacky Chong Bao Ninh's The Sorrow of War is a hauntingly and emotionally powerful Vietnam war novel. Much of it is autobiographical. The novel explores the blurred distinction between the narrator and the protagonist, Kien, which eventually collapses. It is structured as a series of recollection, jumping forwards and backwards between the events in memory, events which take on a different color each time they are brought back and examined. Human’s memories can be surprisingly unreliable. Some studies have provided evidence that people can easily convince themselves they've experienced things that never happened.
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Unformatted text preview: Bao Ninh establishes the unreliability of Kien’s memory with the use of repetition. Kien can not pull himself out from the endlessly active memory of war, like depression, alcohol abuse, violence and nostalgia. Throughout the novel, Kien repeatedly examine the same memorial scenes, but each time he brings up his memory, it’s differently emotionally colored. The repetition of memorial scenes not only establishes the unreliability of Kien’s memory, but also helps developing the theme that war disintegrates people’s life and swallows up their soul....
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This note was uploaded on 12/31/2011 for the course LANG 111 taught by Professor Lancebeck during the Spring '11 term at Ave Maria.

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