For example, people carry love and a strong connection with friends in life. The literature that will be analyzed is the theme on how important friendships are to these soldiers in the novel. The soldiers of the Alpha Company all use either emotions or an Object to feel secure and to survive the war. For example, Jimmy Cross uses a picture of Martha, Kiowa has a bible, and Henry Dobbins sleeps with a pantyhose. Out of all, the friendship these soldiers have with each other helped them cope with the horrendous events of the war.
It’s a radar thing to explain to somebody who hasn’t felt it, but the presence of death and danger has a way of bringing you fully awake. It makes things vivid. When you’re afraid, really afraid, you see things you never saw before, you pay attention to the world. You make close friends. You become part of a tribe and you share the same blood, you give it together, you take it together” (O’Brien 220). The loved ones at home are incomprehensible since they have not experienced warfare ever before. However, the soldiers have and they can bond with one another so that it can be easier to cope with the psychological effects of the war.
On a daily basis, the soldiers help and rely on each other. On days where they march for hours and hours is when they need each other most; it would be boring if they did not have each other to keep themselves entertained. “Kiowa teaching a rain dance to Rat Killed and Dave Jensen, the three of them leaping around barefoot while a bunch of villagers looked on with a mixture of fascination and giggly horror (O’Brien 39). It would drive a person crazy if they had no friends in the war to be entertained by.
Friends can also support and reassure each other when one f them is having a mental breakdown. In late August they made a pact that if one of them should ever get totally messed up, a wheelchair wound, the other guy would automatically find a way to end it” (O’Brien 71). These soldiers of the Alpha Company are such good friends that they trust each other with their own lives. If one guy is to be in a wheelchair for the rest of their life, then they would end their life in Vietnam. Just creating one mistake can cause another person to end theirs. They all trust each other and allow their life to be in another person’s hands.
When the Narrator became wounded and was no longer possible to be in the Alpha Company, he was jealous and somewhat sad. “In a way, I envied him, all of them. Their deep bush tans, the sores and blisters, the stories, the in-it-togetherness. I felt close to them, yes but also felt a new sense of separation” (O’Brien 221 The Narrator feels that he’s not with the group anymore but the men actually still saw him as a friend but since he left, it’s a different kind of friendship. Even though he left and basically ditched his brothers, they saw him differently.
The other soldiers did not feel angry toward him; it is just different and cannot be the same anymore. Since he would not connect as much as before it can be hard for them to communicate. If he was still in it, they would be able to talk to each other about how sore they are, how badly their injuries are, and some crazy stories. The Narrator cannot do anything but to just move on which makes him distressed; especially when he found out that he was replaced by another person. If his emotions were in the current state that they were in when he was on the battlefield, he would most likely not survive Ewing in the war.
The soldiers can only talk to their brothers about the war and other men who had been involved with the Vietnam War. If these soldiers did not form the friendship that they did, it would be very difficult to cope with the effects of the war. “The thing to do, we decided, was to forget the coffee and switch to gin, which improved the mood, and not much later we were laughing at some of the craziness that used to go on. ” (O’Brien 29) They would help each other in Vietnam and continue their friendship once they are back at home in the Ignited States.
Even if they survived it without bonding with the soldiers, they would have mental and physical trauma from the Vietnam War. In war, there are a few truths and many lies. The reasons and ramifications behind war are often never truly understood by the actual participants in the war; the young and naive are fooled by the old and bitter into killing each other. However, between the young, there are a few truths- these can be found within their comrades, their brothers-in-arms. They are in the same boat, the same trenches, and the same tragedy.