A nightmare like that, all you want is to forget. None of it ever seemed real in the first place.
O'Brien not only shares the same name as his protagonist but also a similar biographical background. This distinction is key and central to understanding the novel. His childhood was an American childhood. O'Brien's hometown is small-town, Midwestern America, a town that once billed itself as "the turkey capital of the world," exactly the sort of odd and telling detail that appears in O'Brien's work.
Worthington had a large influence on O'Brien's imagination and early development as an author: O'Brien describes himself as an avid reader when he was a child. And like his other main childhood interest, magic tricks, books were a form of bending reality and escaping it.
O'Brien's parents were reading enthusiasts, his father on the local library board and his mother a second grade teacher. O'Brien's childhood is much like that of his characters — marked by an all-American kid-ness, summers spent on little league baseball teams and, later, on jobs and meeting girls.
Eventually, the national quiescence and contentment of the s gave way to the political awareness and turbulence of the s, and as the all-American baby boom generation reached the end of adolescence, they faced the reality of military engagement in Vietnam and a growing divisiveness over war at home.
Education and Vietnam O'Brien was drafted for military service intwo weeks after completing his undergraduate degree at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he had enrolled in He earned a bachelor's degree in government and politics. An excellent student, O'Brien looked forward to attending graduate school and studying political science.
During the course of his college career, O'Brien came to oppose the war, not as a radical activist but as a campaign supporter and volunteer of Eugene McCarthy, a candidate in the presidential election who was openly against the Vietnam War.
Inthe war in Vietnam reached its bloodiest point in terms of American casualties, and the government relied on conscription to recruit more soldiers. Further, graduate school deferments, which exempted students from the draft, were beginning to be discontinued, though O'Brien did not seek out this recourse.
Disappointed and worried, O'Brien — like his character "Tim O'Brien" — spent the summer after his graduation working in a meatpacking plant. Unlike his character, however, O'Brien passed his nights pouring out his anxiety and grief onto the typewritten page. He believes it was this experience that sowed the seeds for his later writing career: I did it all summer.
My conscience kept telling me not to go, but my whole upbringing told me I had to. Unlike his fictional alter ego, however, he did not attempt it. Instead, O'Brien yielded to what he has described as a pressure from his community to let go of his convictions against the war and to participate — not only because he had to but also because it was his patriotic duty, a sentiment that he had learned from his community and parents who met in the Navy during World War II.
These people sent me to Vietnam, and they didn't know the first thing about it.
He was later assigned to advanced individual training and soon found himself in Vietnam, assigned to Firebase LZ Gator, south of Chu Lai. The appendix of this book includes a map of Vietnam, including areas referred to in the novel.
He was a regular foot soldier, or, as commonly referred to in veterans' slang, a "grunt," serving in such roles as rifleman and radio telephone operator RTO. He was wounded twice while in service and was relatively safe during the final months of his tour when he was assigned to jobs in the rear.
O'Brien ultimately rose to the rank of sergeant. After returning from his tour in MarchO'Brien resumed his schooling and began graduate work in government and political science at Harvard University, where he stayed for nearly five years but did not complete a dissertation.
Career Highlights In MayO'Brien went to work briefly for The Washington Post as a national affairs reporter before his attention was fully diverted to the craft of fiction writing. He began and continues to publish regularly in various periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Esquire, and Playboy, frequently excerpting parts of his novels as autonomous short stories.This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien.
John and Kathy Wade travel to a cottage at the Lake in the Woods after John loses an election. While they both try to put a brave face .
Dec 05, · In summary, Tim O'Brien's new novel, "In the Lake of the Woods," sounds like a fast-paced thriller, the sort of book that might easily be made into a movie starring, say, Harrison Ford and.
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in In the Lake of the Woods, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
All of the major characters in In the Lake of the Woods struggle to deal with traumatic events from their pasts. In The Things They Carried, protagonist "Tim O'Brien," a writer and Vietnam War veteran, works through his memories of his war service to find meaning in them.
Interrelated short stories present themes such as the allure of war, the loss of innocence, and the relationship between fact and fiction. Describes the amnesia effect in the book 'In the Lake of the Woods,' by Tim O'Brien.
Effect on the memory of a character John Wade in the book due to his political defeat; Extension of story of Wade to the exploration of history of the U.S; Explanation of relations . Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods is centered around the mysterious disappearance of Kathy Wade.
Mysterious is the key word, as throughout the novel O’Brien plays .