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Tim OBriens memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone is an example of literary art depicting war OBriens reluctance to fight in the war makes this a different kind of war art The movie Apocalypse Now directed by Francis Ford Coppola also depicts war in an extraordinary way They are very much alike in that they both explore the emotions and morals of humans If I Die in a Combat Zone and Apocalypse Now portray the unfathomable mysteries of Americas venture into Vietnam Long admired for its passion poetry and eccentricity Apocalypse Now is one of the few American movies that deals with the harsh reality of emotional experiences in war It explores the things that drove and undermined the war effort in Southeast Asia The movie consists of a series of set pieces just as If I Die in a Combat Zone does The most famous is the assault on the village opening with the helicopter loudspeakers blasting Wagner at the terrified students and teachers and continuing with Lt Kilgore and his bravado on the beach I love the smell of napalm in the morning Lt Kilgore walked around the beach and when a bomb hit the sand he was the only one standing while everyone else ducked Mad Mark in If I Die in a Combat Zone is similar to Lt Kilgore he walked with a lanky easy silent fearless stride He wore tiger fatigues not for their camouflage but for their look OBrien 81 Many viewers and readers may think these characters were used to show different views on war but I think Coppola and OBrien were mocking the soldiers carefree attitude Apocalypse Now portrays the war as fundamentally misconceived and mismanaged just as Tim OBrien does in If I Die in a Combat Zone If I Die in a Combat Zone has all of the eloquence and attention to language and detail that are a mark of Tim OBriens work
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