The Role of the Protagonists in The Man I killed and The Rite

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Analysis Paper: Comparing grief of the Protagonists Roberto Hill World Literature Professor Stefanovic 2 June 2008 Both stories “The man I Killed “ and “The Rite”, present the reader with the idea that even though we may be alive and healthy, a certain detachment from society may exist wherein normal communication just does not alleviate our deep seeded notion of pain and understanding. The authors, Tim O’Brien and Takenishi Hiroko, use their poetic licenses to help the reader understand the extent of their mental anguish. Tim O’Brien bases his character, Tim, on his own experience in Vietnam, and explains with great detail the thoughts and guilt that encompass his mind not long after his first kill. Takenishi’s character Aki, a survivor of the Hiroshima bomb that ended WWII, welcomes reader to the: traditions, trauma, death, and haunting memories that have our protagonist in a state of arrested development. These “stream of consciousness” narratives are not in place only to convey the depth of their pain, but also a way in which the author can communicate their personal experiences and find closure from the happenings that have damaged their souls and changed their interpretation of humanity. Both of these stories convey my thesis that; whichever end of war you are on, delivering or receiving, the only thing that you can guarantee is pain and change. Uncertainty only lies with how an individual copes with them. The following essay will analyze and compare how the protagonists of each story convey and effectively communicate their grief. The first aspect that I would like to discuss is that of the plot within “The Rite” and “The Man I Killed”. Some of the meanings are designed to be complicated thus furthering the possibilities of interpretation on the readers behalf. However, both short stories are similar and different in their own

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