[Name of the Writer]
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My Lai Massacre is remembered as a nightmare in American history in which mass murder of civilian Vietnamese was carried out. The US troops landed in a district of South Vietnam on March 16, 1968in order, to get engaged with the National Liberation Front, which was not present there instead unarmed civilians were slaughtered with brutality. The victims included children’s, women and old men even the animals were not spared. The US officials tried to cover up the massacre which prompted global outrage as well as domestic opposition against this massacre. The aggression of highly trained force against the inhabitants of My Lai still haunts America.
Lt.William L.Calley was a member of Charlie Company which was engaged with the national liberation front. Since their deployment, they took heavy casualties from booby traps and snipers from the back which prompted the US forces to take action against them. When Lt Calley was charged with the incident, Seymour Hersh sniffed around the whole case. He cracked the story wide open by interviewing different officials involved in the massacre. By his interviews, he stated that Calley "seems slightly bewildered and hurt by the charges against him.
He says he wants nothing more than to be cleared and return to the army." His article focused upon Calley as an army officer and how his colleagues supported him except for some who were angry at him. Lt Calley was accused of taking the orders seriously and committing a massacre.
He also focused on not disclosing the criminal act and hiding the original situation. Even the information which came out for the public was a praise of the incident that the mission was so swift that it surprised the enemy. The army officials had concerns about the outburst of the public sentiments and the possible threat of war crime tribunals. So they had to persecute somebody so that the condition may not get worse.
On the other hand, Tim O'Brien provided evidence in the form of quotations from other people. He also tells about his experience of serving in Vietnam and his visit to My Lai and conveys the realistic experience of a soldier in the Vietnam War. Tim O'Brien engages the reader in thinking and deciding what fiction and truth are. He wanted the reader to be active and decide how complex the reality is.
John wade was a real character in his story who killed two unarmed Vietnamese in a mere reflex action out of confusion. John traumatizing situation is discussed how bad he feels about the killings. It tells about the emotional downfall of the marriage of Kathy and John. And how his behavior caused Kathy to separate from him and went missing. His hopelessness in the Vietnam massacre and the psychological damage is pitiful and frightening. John was overwhelmed by the horrors of what he has done and tries to forget what has happened.
O’Brien confronts the concept of evil and tells that the soldiers were young who tried to follow the orders. He portrays John character that he did not deliberately kill the people. He raises the point that everyone can commit a crime and leaves the choice to the readers to understand that how he committed killings. The letter he received from his wife might have worsened his psychological condition.
Hersh instrumentally reported the story of the My Lai massacre and speaking about the failures of the US government in Vietnam. His article was able to convince that most men in the units were young and did not question any order. His article instilled outrage in the people who protested against the massacre in Nixon government. Similarly O'Brien novel plays with a fine line between ambiguity and reality. It discusses the main character John wade a veteran of the Vietnam War and his fall from grace. The writer reflected both sides of the story and left the decision on the readers to decide what the real picture was. O’Brien uses tenets of a mystery genre, for example, the missing of an essential character like Kathy. The mystery keeps the readers intact to read the novel. They achieved the purpose through their engaging plots and left an impact on the readers.
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