The Man I Killed

548 Words3 Pages
Law of War During war, the soldiers exposed to too much pressure. Most of them try to deal with the enemy according to the law of jungle “kill or you’ll be killed”. They try to dehumanize the enemy to give themselves the right to kill him without felling guilty. However, after the application of this rule, most of the soldiers feel compunction because they realize that they kill a human been. In the story “The Main I Killed”, the author Tim O`Brien illustrates to us the reaction of three American soldiers after killing a Vietnamese man during the Vietnam War. The author explains how the three characters Tim, Azar and Kiowa rehumanize, dehumanize or humanize the dead body of the killed man. In the beginning, Tim rehumanizes the dead man after he kills him by having empathy for him. In other words, Tim gives back the human-like characteristics to the dead man after he kills him. The Vietnamese man becomes a human been in Tim’s eyes after he was just a target. Tim tries to put him self in the position of the dead body by staring at him while he imagines the life of the Vietnamese man when he was alive. Tim illustrates him as an innocent victim who was in the wrong time and place. He fantasizes about the Vietnamese man by saying that “ the man I killed would have been determined to continues his education in mathematics.” These fantasies indicate remorse. Tim describes the dead body over and over in the story which means he have trouble to move on from his guilt. Therefore, we understand that Tim is under a shock because he realizes that he kills a human been. In the other hand, Azar dehumanizes the Vietnamese man. He compares the dead body to food “wheat” “like oatmeal”. Azar deals with the situation irony and mockery. He said,”you scrambled his sorry self.” “on the dead test, this particular individual gets A-plus.” Azar objectifies the
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