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Rainy River student examples - We see Tim gradually...

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When Tim receives his draft letter, it’s the beginning of his entire dilemma. He is slapped in the face with a choice of running away from war or facing his fears and going to war. In the story, Tim says, “I remember the rage in my stomach. Later, it burned down to a smoldering self-pity, then to numbness.” This quote proves how he felt when receiving the letter. He was against the war, so he did not see a point in going. To Tim, the letter is more than a piece of paper that came in the mail; it was a creature with its gripping claws on Tim’s life. Tim’s entire future will change with the decision of ignoring the letter and running, or going to the war. The internal conflict begins with the receiving of the letter. He looks deep within himself and realizes what the best choice of this situation must be. He chooses to go back and fight for his country. The river was a like a boat ride of wisdom on Tim’s soul, and Elroy was his guide. He guided him through the river and through his decision.
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Unformatted text preview: We see Tim gradually understanding Canada as a physical escape from the war, but not as a getaway from himself. Tim heads north for Canada on a somewhat rebellious journey. ……. .as if this resort was really a stop for every confused young man passing through, searching for answers. Elroy’s silence gave Tim enough space to really breathe in the situation and rethink the decision of hiding from the war. The simple river that separated Canada from Minnesota was the river that separated Tim’s possibilities. O’Brien uses the meatpacking plant as his battleground. Conclusion: Throughout the story, O’Brien’s conscience has pulled him in two different directions. He shows that decisions are not always as simple as they were when we were children. As a child, you decide who and what you will play with. As a teenager, you have to decide id you really want to drink that first beer or break curfew. But, for Tim, the choice is life or death, hero or coward....
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