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Violence Science and Ethics Tim OBriens story entitled The Man I Killed takes place during the Vietnam War This story is about 3 men that stop to search a body that one of the men named Tom just shot The other men Kiowa and Azar want to keep moving on but Tom will not move or speak He was overcome with the guilt of killing a man and starts to look at him as a person the man I killed would have listened to sorties about the heroic Trung sisters and Tran Hung Daos famous rout Tom relates this man to himself in that he doesnt want to be in this war he just wants to be at home where he is safe This thought totally separates Tom from the war going on around him His fellow soldiers talk to him in order to get him out of this introspective state that he is stuck in Through his story Tim OBrein displays an underlying point about the value of human life In war there are so many deaths inflicted by our military that they are viewed as numbers Each and every one of these people are actually human beings with lives and most with families but all of them fighting to protect their country Maybe not all of the soldiers agree with the mass killing of the enemy Maybe the soldiers dont even agree with what they are fighting for Tom says He would have been taught that to defend the land was a mans highest duty and highest privilege To relate this dead mans situation to his own Knowing that he didnt want to die in this war that he didnt even want to be a part of OBrien uses Toms experience in the story to display the chilling realization of what the value of a human life really is and how easily it can be wasted when he sees the man
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