1. The story that talked about Poppa-San stood out to me. The man they followed through the jungle was called Poppa-San. The reason this story stood out to me was because it conveyed a feeling of love towards Poppa-San. The troop trusted him to lead them through the harshest terrain. Not only was Poppa-San old, but he could move through the jungle safely because he could almost feel the earth beneath him. This story just made me care about the characters. I don’t know what about this story was different, but this one made me care because I could just picture a local man, who had been walking the forest his whole life, helping them through. I can even picture the chanting and the emotional hugs when they had to leave him.
2. In the novel I would have to say I connect most with is Elroy Berdahl. I connected with him because he was not judgmental, but he knew what why Tim was there. Elroy was nice to Tim and knew he needed to make a decision and gave him the chance to make it for himself. Without Elroy’s help Tim would not have been able to make a rational decision. I saw Elroy as an honest and good old man, who knew how Tim felt. He wanted to give him what he needed to grow. I connected to Elroy because he just wanted to help Tim.
3. One of the conventions that stood out to me was in the first chapter where he literally named off the items each man carried. He named off all of the weights associated with them also to give an idea of how much the soldiers literally had to carry. They were lugging around hundreds of pounds and they were also carrying around a lot of emotional baggage. He described all of it to show how burdened the poor soldiers were. They had a lot to deal with, more than what a 19 year old should have to.
4. The one passage that I thought helped show so much was on page 15. This passage was about the soldiers being like children almost. It talks about them searching villages and not knowing what to look for. They didn’t care either. They were just blowing tunnels and setting fires. They did what they wanted because there was no consequence for their actions. They were immature in a sense because they were not focuses on what they were there to do. I felt like this passage can help explain many of the stories in the book. Playing with smoke grenades, peeing in the middle of battle, and bringing a girlfriend to war are just examples of stories that can be explained by this.