Conflicts In O 'Brien's Enemies'

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In “Enemies,” two officers, Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk, get into a fistfight over a jacknife that Jensen believes Strunk has purposely stolen. During the encounter, Jensen breaks Strunk’s nose. With regret and fear that Strunk may retaliate, Jensen remains uneasy for the remainder of the next few nights. Finally, fed up with his apprehensiveness, Jensen uses a pistol to break his own nose. With amusement, Strunk admits to have taken Jensen’s jacknife. In “Friends,” the opposite of “Enemies” is played out. Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk get over their past encounter by learning to trust one another. They make a pact that if one were to be severely wounded, the other would kill him to be put out of misery. Jensen is faced with this moral conflict…show more content…
Rat Kiley’s friend, Curt Lemon, is killed and Rat writes Lemon's sister a letter. He writes about her brother and the crazy stunts he attempted. Unfortunately, the sister never writes back, and Rat is offended and angered by this. Lemon's death, an accident resulting from a game of catch with a grenade, left O’Brien with the memory of his body parts scattered in the jungle trees. We, readers, then hear about Mitchell Sander’s story of a patrol going into the mountains to monitor enemy movement. The jungle is spooky, and the men start hearing strange noises that do not stop. Weirdly enough, the voices are not human. The men then openly destroyed every inch of land, in order to stop the trees, rocks, and mountains from making noise. The chapter ends with O'Brien telling us what followed Lemon's death: when the unit comes across a baby water buffalo. Rat Kiley, encompassed with anger and gloom due to his friend’s death, shoots the baby buffalo consistently, yet does not fully kill it. These stories reveal that a true war story, is never about war; but rather these stories are about love, memory, and sorrow. More importantly though, we learn that not all true war stories are true. They are what we make them out to be: consisting of fragments of the imagination mixed with some

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