Random - Scott Ely Essay

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John Smith English121 19 September 2012 Troubles of a Soldier Author Scott Ely, wrote a short story called “Random” The short story, interpreted from my view uses different archetypes. The short story is written about a soldier’s experiences. The story takes you through the soldier’s day as he interacts with people that are at war or just living out there lives. What the soldier describes in this short story can be taken in many forms of the archetypes, from journey and home, death and transfiguration, shadow and reality, chaos and order, and mask and face. These archetypes are all used though out this short story. An example of the journey and home archetype is taken from the short story in the first paragraph, in the first line which states “I arrived at base camp near Saigon in 1969, just after a nasty Tet.”(Ely) The word “Tet” could possibly mean fight or war. When “Tet” is researched the meaning is a military campaign during the Vietnam War or the Vietnamese New Year observed during the lunar calendar.(Dictionary.com) When the example is read the word nasty has an understanding of hurtful or pain. Understanding “Tet” used with the word nasty makes more sense to believe that “tet’ was a military campaign. This could be an example of the journey and home archetype from the Western Culture Motifs. Journey is found when the example from the short story states that the soldier arrived at camp from a nasty “Tet.” Home can be interpreted from the soldier leaving his current base which could be considered home. Another example of a different archetype in this short story comes from the first paragraph, last sentence. The story states a “Sniper shot the guy in front of me in the head and caught his skull fragments in my mouth. I got a week in camp and new teeth.” (Ely) This example taken from the short story could be interpreted as death and transfiguration from

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