Why Soliders Dont Talk

537 Words3 Pages
The essays “Why Soldier Won’t Talk,” by John Steinbeck, and “Ambush” by Tim O’Brien, are both about their own personal experiences in war. The authors explain the awful life or death choices the soldiers must decide and consequently deal with for the real of their lives. Although both of the authors have experienced war, their viewpoints and descriptions of war are incredibly different from each other. In the essay, “Why Soldier Won’t Talk,” Steinbeck directly avoids using the word “I,” and instead speaks in second person references. Steinbeck wants the reader to understand the harsh and difficult living conditions the soldiers are living in. Also, Steinbeck wants the reader to feel the emotion and physical pain the soldiers are feeling, “Under extended bombardment…the eardrums are tortured by the blast…your skin feels thick and insensitive. There’s a salty taste in your mouth. A hard, painful knot is in your stomach with undigested food…This is how you feel just after a few days of constant firing.” Steinbeck’s writes such a strong description that the reader can fully understand and even feel the pain the soldiers feel. The essay “Why Soldiers Won’t Talk,” is marked by a clear narrative description of what war is truly like and gives the reader a strong sense of perspective. In the essay, “Ambush,” O’Brien recounts the story in first person, almost in a historical method of storytelling by using the word “I”. Part of the reason for this difference is this essay’s audience, O’Brien’s daughter Kathleen. Also, “Ambush” very much differs from “Why Soldiers Won’t Talk.” O’Brien does not describe the harsh living conditions the soldiers are living in and tries to be clinical about it. The refrains of “Ambush,” such as “he was a short, slender man of about twenty,” are constantly adding to the idea of the storytelling, unlike “Why Soldiers Won’t Talk,” which seems to
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