Monday, October 13, 2014

Exploration Five: Lydia Freudenberg

1. The story that has meant the most to me, so far, would have to be "Spin." This chapter consist of several mini stories and that is why I like it so much. A few of my favorite are when Mitchell Sanders begins plucking lice from his own body, places them in an envelope and addresses it to the draft board in Ohio. This shows the hate and unwanted need to be fighting a war they do not believe in, which I believe was a main theme for the Vietnam War. The chapter continues into Norman Bowker and Henry Dobbins playing checkers and how O'Brien comments on how he wishes war was that simple, "The playing field was laid out in a strict grid, no tunnels or mountains or jungles. You knew where you stood... the enemy was visible." the Vietnam War was on foreign terrain and a difficult at that, making soldiers hate the war that much more. My last favorite mini story from this section was when O'Brien talks about the "boredom that causes stomach disorder" because this was the closet story I was able to relate to. I always find that when I'm not being productive, I begin to get antsy and my stomach hurts. But I couldn't imagine having that pain while sitting in the Vietnam jungle listening to gunfire.

2. The character I believe I am able to connect with the most so far is Tim O'Brien. Between the stomach hurting boredom and how he breaks down and panics about the war, I know I would have been right there. He has big internal struggles which I find myself having every now and then. And when he doesn't want to do something, but know it's the right thing and is afraid of what his family will think of him, I see myself a lot when he announced that quality about himself.

3. I talked this over with Mr. Lohre myself because I was afraid of possibly over thinking or analyzing the subject, but then Lohre said it could be a possibility and that I can share it in class. In "Love" when Jimmy Cross talks about his meeting after with Martha I concluded two possible reasons for her feelings towards Cross. I based both my assumptions off of how Martha will never marry, "and probably never would" and when Martha tells Cross how "she didn't understand how men could do the those things" and that "there was nothing she could do about it" how Cross laughs and understands but he still loves her. My first conclusion was that Martha is possibly in love with Cross but is too against the war and a peacemaker and could never marry or be with a man who has gone to a war she hates and has done the things she so strongly does not believe in. My other, and possibly crazy assumption, is that maybe Martha is a homosexual. Just reading the text, I got this vibe and I don't know... maybe she is.

4. " Loud, hard crying... Elroy Berdahl remained quit. He kept fishing. He worked his line with the tips of his fingers... His eyes were flat and impassive. He didn't speak. He was simply there, like the river and the late summer sun. And yet by his presence, his mute watchfulness, he made it real. He was the true audience. He was the witness like God, or the gods, who look on in absolute silence as we live our lives, as we make our choices or fail to make them... Then after a time the old man pulled in his line and turned the boat back towards Minnesota" (57). I liked this passage so much because it shows how a lack of words and someone just sitting there to be a comfort or a witness of your pain can allow you to solve your problems or feel comfort more than someone blabbering on about how they can relate.


  1. I think that the passage you chose was a really good one it is very strong what Tim O'Brien is saying here

  2. The first time I read this book I thought Martha also didn't want to marry Jimmy because she was against the war. It is interesting to see a different perspective on her situation that I have never thought of.


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