Reply to two (2) peers during this discussion.
Module 18 Discussion #2
What is the role of shame in the lives of these soldiers? Does it drive them to acts of heroism, or stupidity? Or both? What is the relationship between shame and courage, according to O'Brien?
Reply to two (2) peers during this discussion.
12/30/2013 05:45:49 am
Most of the soldiers in the Vietnam War were there because they were too embarrassed to get out of it. Shame is the driving factor for these soldiers; it is the invisible hand guiding them through their lives as soldiers. I believe that it drives them to acts of stupidity because they are trying so hard to be great that they constantly make stupid mistakes. Shame is the opposite of courage. Courage is acting without yourself in mind, and shame causes one to act with only yourself in mind.
12/30/2013 06:46:44 am
12/31/2013 09:48:03 am
Logan, I as well liked that you mentioned that shame is the driving force for the soldiers. However, courage doesn't necessarily mean that you're acting without yourself in mind because some people do not let the emotion of fear over power them. They are able to stand up for themselves and other things without being driven away from it.
1/3/2014 02:54:36 am
I like how you talked about all the soldiers as a whole rather than just one or two specifics. You are completely right when you say that every soldier there was because they were too embarrassed to get out of the war. I don't know that many people who would jump up to the idea of getting up and going to war because the government tells them to.
12/30/2013 06:42:38 am
O'Brian said that he joined the service because he was embarrassed. He put a lot of his motives into this book. Shame plays a big role in the lives of the soldiers because they are doing things to look better to each other or to serve their country and they would feel shamed if they did it wrong. Courage is when you do something, not for fame nor recognition, but because it is the right thing to do even if it goes against the status quo. Shame is when one fears the judgment of his/her peers and act based on that fear.
1/3/2014 02:20:17 pm
I don't think that the soldiers were doing the things to serve their country. Most of them did it because they were embarrassed. People should do things for themselves not for the reason to impress others. I agree with you on what you think courage is and I believe some of the soldiers were very courageous.
1/3/2014 02:37:42 pm
You are correct in saying that O'Brien joined the service out of embarrassment. O'Brien did put a lot of his motives into the way that he wrote, and shame is a driving factor in the plot of O'Brien's story. O'Brien does describe courage like that. I really liked your post, good job.
1/3/2014 04:45:11 pm
I like your definition of courage, that it is doing the right thing even when it goes against the status quo. I agree that shame plays a big part in the lives of the soldiers. I also am in agreement with your statement that O'Brien put a lot of his motives into his book.
12/31/2013 02:05:25 am
Shame is seen throughout the novel but is seen most with the character's Norman Bowker and Tim O'Brien. In the case of O'Brien, his most major act of shame comes within one of the earlier vignettes when he received his draft notice. His shame drives him away in an act of cowardism. After some time, he realizes that he is the laughing stock of the people around him. He then decides to the one of the most heroic things, go to the war. The other major story of shame in the novel is the one of Norman Bowker; he is shameful for two reasons. The first is because he didn't receive enough medals from the war to make his father happy. He is constantly worried about what his father thinks about him. The second reason he is shameful is because he couldn't save his friend Kiowa in the war. He could have saved him from dying but couldn't. Unlike the other O'Brien, Bowker turned his shame into an act of stupidity by killing himself. In the terms of O'Brien, shame is the act of thinking with only yourself on mind while thinking about others in a situation makes you courageous.
1/3/2014 10:10:32 am
You nailed it on the head when you spoke of O'Brien running from the draft notice. You said it was an act of cowardism...? I agree with all your points on the topic, but I thought I'd point out that "cowardism" is actually not a word. Instead, you should have said it was an act of cowardice. Your points were good, though! This is just a minor critique for the sake of legibility. Don't sweat it.
1/3/2014 02:39:22 pm
Your post was completely correct. I really like how you went in depth with the shame that you saw and how you perceived it. Because shame was so important to this story, it is great that you really elaborated on it.
12/31/2013 09:03:12 am
Shame has more so been reflected through this novel because the soldiers, O'brien in particular went into the war being embarrassed instead of being courageous and taking pride in his actions. People should do things for themselves not for the reason to impress others. The soldiers were brought to acts of stupidity because they were not focused on the importance of the war instead just felt sorry for themselves. Courage and shame are two completely opposite things. Courage is defined by a strong character who takes pride and has confidence. He understands fear but doesn't let it overpower him. Shame, on the other hand, is a weak character who isn't comfortable or strong in their own self. They are not strong enough to stay positive and keep going.
12/31/2013 09:44:01 am
I couldn't agree with you more when you said that people need to do things for themselves and not to show off to other people. Also, I really like how you mentioned that if a person has courage they have the ability of understanding fear but they don't let it take over. This is so true because no one would ever have to do something without thinking it over first even if it is a frightening thing.
1/3/2014 04:19:56 pm
I agree that people should do things for themselves, not for the reason to impress others. I think is the soldiers focused on fighting and winning the war, so many acts of stupidity would not have occurred like the ones we here from O'Brien. I also agree that shame and courage are completely opposite things. I like how you defined both courage and shame.
12/31/2013 09:41:23 am
Shame is definitely seen a lot throughout this novel. As Jess said O'brien was extremely embarrassed to go into the war instead of standing up and taking pride in what he was about to be doing. Many of the soldiers never really seemed to care about what was going on in the war, they seemed more concerned about their own personal lives and what others were doing. This was shown in an act of stupidity. The relationship between shame and courage is nothing but distinct opposites as Logan said. Courage is being able to stand up for something or someone. Shame is being driven away by your mind.
1/2/2014 09:22:53 am
12/31/2013 10:08:48 am
A common "theme" seen throughout this novel was shame. O'Brien's character displayed this because he felt ashamed to be going to the war. He did not take pride in going over seas to fight for his country. Shame leading the soldiers to stupidity can seen when Jensen and Strunk fight over a jackknife which eventually leads to a pact. The pact later shows a bit of heroism. When Strunk is wounded, he begs Jensen not to kill him as per the pact. I felt that it took some courage for Jensen to break the pact and not kill his friend. So, I felt that shame lead the soldiers to acts of both heroism and stupidity. O'Brien felt that the relationship between shame and courage is simple. Shame is thinking of only yourself, and courage is thinking of others.
1/3/2014 02:52:34 am
I really enjoyed reading your post because you brought in some different views that weren't already mentioned such as the Strunk and Jensen fight. I never really viewed the part when Jensen doesn't kill his friend as an act of shame. I thought it was more heroic than anything, but after seeing what you had to say about it, I can see the other end of the spectrum.
1/3/2014 10:19:23 am
I liked your post a lot. It was really interesting. You referenced a part of the book, the part where Jensen and Strunk were fighting, that I totally forgot about and I haven't seen in any other comment. It was really cool. Very nice. I'm so excited.
12/31/2013 10:50:21 am
Shame is a major theme in the story. The author previously stated that he joined the army despite his personal beliefs. He felt ashamed of this, and, being the main character, this affected the story. It shows that, being a soldier like O'Brien, the other soldiers were also ashamed of the war. This leads the soldiers to make stupid, careless mistakes. They are acting in their own interests, as O'Brien stated in the story, so they have no pride in their work, leading to stupid acts. O'Brien also says courage is the exact opposite of shame, an act of self interest, because courage is used to help others.
Comments are closed.
This class blog is designed for students enrolled in the English 12 online course at Freedom High School.