What about the Geneva Accords? My mother and I were having lunch out in the kitchen. The draft notice arrived on June 17, 1968. Real disease. I went through whole days feeling dizzy with sorrow. Flashcards. Even in my imagination, the shore just twenty yards away, I couldn't make myself be brave. On the sixth day, Elroy takes O'Brien fishing on the Rainy River. Men expressing emotion was something that was not allowed as they should be "the strong individuals." Everywhere, it seemed, in the trees and water and sky, a great world¬wide sadness came pressing down on me, a crushing sorrow, sorrow like I had never known it before. Elroy Berdahl: eighty-one years old, skinny and shrunken and mostly bald. Tim tells a story he has never told anyone. Actually it was not a lodge at all, just eight or nine tiny yellow cabins clustered on a peninsula that jutted northward into the Rainy River. Symbols such as *, +, |, and ~ can be used literally by placed a \ in front of the text. The emotions went from outrage to terror to bewilderment to guilt to sorrow and then back again to outrage. He still feels ashamed, more than twenty years later. Learn. I remember the rage in my stomach. Hubski URLS become embedded cards, displaying information about the post or comment. ed. You can't fix your mistakes. Created by. He leaves work and drives north along the Rainy River, the natural border between the U.S. and Canada. "There's Jesus.". The very facts were shrouded in uncer¬tainty: Was it a civil war? On two or three afternoons, to pass some time, I helped Elroy get the place ready for winter, sweeping down the cabins and hauling in the boats, little chores that kept my body moving. Quietly, not bawling, just the chest-chokes. On the Rainy River Tim O'Brien was born in 1946 in Austin, Minnesota, to an insurance salesman and an elementary school teacher. Start studying The Things They Carried "on The Rainy River" Quiz. Stupidly, with a kind of smug removal that I can't begin to fathom, that the problems of killing and dying did not fall within my special province. Test. That's part of it, no doubt, but what embarrasses me much more, and always will, is the paralysis that took my heart. It all seemed crazy and impossible. To go into it, I've always thought, would only cause embarrassment for all of us, a sudden need to be elsewhere, which is the natural response to a confession. I would not swim away from my hometown and my country and my life. “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien thoroughly illustrates the emotional burdens of war, especially the fear and shame felt by many men who were forcibly drafted into the Vietnam War. . I saw no unity of purpose, no consensus on matters of philosophy or history or law. A maybe-a foul-up in the paperwork. He offered exactly what I needed, without questions, without any words at all. Turncoat! Would it hurt? I hated dirt and tents and mosquitoes. The story develops the theme of embarrassment as a motivating factor, first introduced by Jimmy Cross in “The Things They Carried” and “Love.” Just as Jimmy … He grew up in a small, conservative town in Minnesota whose citizens were fiercely pro-war. Both of his parents were veter?flS: his father had been in the Navy in lwo Jima and Okinawa during World War ll, and his mother had served with the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Elroy cuts the engine about twenty yards from the Canadian side of the river, and O'Brien is now faced with a dilemma: jump and swim to the other side, or stay. on the rainy river questions and answers. In a way, I thought, it was appropriate. In "On The Rainy River," we learn the 21-year-old O'Brien's theory of courage: "Courage, I seemed to … The wrong word-or even the right word-and I would've disappeared. Simple politeness was part of it. The things they carried: a work of fiction. Silly and hopeless. I couldn't sleep; I couldn't lie still. Some of this Elroy must've understood. He believes that the war is wrong and has no interest in participating in it. This two-lesson mini unit is designed for Tim O'Brien's fourth chapter of The Things They Carried, "On the Rainy River." On_the_Rainy_River.pdf (1.397 MB) Sample_Review__The_Things_They_Carried_.rtf (19.808 KB) First of all, I’ve included a copy of the story “On the Rainy River,” which is one of the stories by Tim O’Brien in the collection The Things They Carried. Text surrounded by plus signs (+) is bolded. Then I'd think, Impossible. Get free homework help on Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried: book summary, chapter summary and analysis, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes. Would you think about your family and your childhood and your dreams and all you're leaving behind? The old man didn't look at me or speak. It is a confession. Write. Although the stories are fictional, they were inspired by O’Brien’s wartime experiences. The place was in sorry shape. At night I'd toss around in bed, half awake, half dreaming, imagining how I'd sneak down to the beach and quietly push one of the old man's boats out into the river and start paddling my way toward Canada. I went to the war. Who started it, and when and why? Which items stay with you? My hunch, though, is that he already knew. Gravity. And he knew I couldn’t talk about it.” Pg 50 “ What it came down to, It wasn't thinking, just a silent howl. The man who opened the door that day is the hero of my life. The main building, which stood in a cluster of pines on high ground, seemed to lean heavily to one side, like a cripple, the roof sagging toward Canada. His eyes had the bluish gray color of a razor blade, the same polished shine, and as he peered up at me I felt a strange sharpness, almost painful, a cutting sensation, as if his gaze were somehow slicing me open. What really happened to the USS Maddox that dark night in the Gulf of Tonkin? This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 2 pages. Things They Carried joins the work of Crane and Hemingway and Mailer as great war literature." 2. All materials are provided in both PDF and Google Slides.Contents Lesson 7: Theme in Creative Non-FictionAccountability Quiz: “On the Rainy River”Student Handout Q: Background Kno From the classic Vietnam War story collection “The Things They Carried” (1990).Read by Jerry Edwards of All Stories Aloud. A war of national liberation or simple aggression? LitCharts Teacher Editions. . It was no longer a possibility. Text surrounded by vertical bars (|) is quoted. After supper one evening I vomited and went back to my cabin and lay down for a few moments and then vomited again; another time, in the middle of the afternoon, I began sweating and couldn't shut it off. It struck me then that he must've planned it. But it was so much more than that. At one point, I remember Elroy put down his maul and looked at me for a long time, his lips drawn as if framing a difficult question, but then he shook his head and went back to work. To go into it, I've always thought, would only cause embarrassment for all of us, a sudden need to be elsewhere, which is the natural response to a confession. Some energy to it, of course, but it was the energy that accompanies all abstract endeavors; I felt no personal danger; I felt no sense of an impending my life. His bedroom, I remember, was cluttered with books and news¬papers. Getting chased by the Border Patrol-helicopters and searchlights and barking dogs-I'd be crashing through the woods, I'd be down on my hands and knees-people shouting out my name-the law closing in on all sides-my hometown draft board and the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This two-lesson mini unit is designed for Tim O'Brien's fourth chapter of The Things They Carried, "On the Rainy River." The Things They Carried‘s “On the Rainy River” Chapter. A moral freeze: I couldn't decide, I couldn't act, I couldn't comport myself with even a pretense of modest human dignity. It was tangible and real. Even now, I'll Run, I'd think. I washed up the breakfast dishes, left his two hundred dollars on the kitchen counter, got into the car, and drove south toward home. Spell. I tried to smile, except I was crying. Now, perhaps, you can understand why I've never told this story before. The shore¬line was dense with brush and timber. For more than twenty years I've had to live with it, feeling the shame, trying to push it away, and so by this act of remembrance, by putting the facts down on paper, I'm hoping to relieve at least some of the pressure on my dreams. “On the Rainy River” appears in The Things They Carried (1990), Tim O’Brien’s collection of interrelated stories about the Vietnam War. At the rear of the boat Elroy Berdahl pretended not to notice. Would you jump? I remember opening up the letter, scanning the first few lines, feeling the blood go thick behind my eyes. The man's self-control was amazing. chapter 4 on the rainy river questions and answers. Briefly, I thought about turning around, just giving up, but then I got out of the car and walked up to the front porch. We spent six days together at the Tip Top Lodge. And what was so sad, I realized, was that Canada had become a pitiful fantasy. It couldn't happen to me, above it. All I could do was cry. Courage, I seemed to think, comes to us in finite quantities, like an inheritance, and by being frugal and stashing it away and letting it earn interest, we steadily increase our moral capital in preparation for that day when the account must be drawn down. I'll never be certain, of course, but I think he meant to bring me up against the realities, to guide me across the river and to take me to the edge and to stand a kind of vigil as I chose a life for myself. Now and then he'd catch me staring out at the river, at the far shore, and I could almost hear the tumblers clicking in his head. I went to the war" what does he mean by this? Inside me, in my chest, I felt a ter¬rible squeezing pressure. Although his community pressures him to go, he resists making a decision about whether to go to war or flee. If you double-click a paragraph, it will be quoted. I couldn't tell up from down, I was just falling, and late in the night I'd lie there watching weird pictures spin through my head. Match. Elroy Berdahl was no hick. I'm not sure how I made it through those six days. He was there at the critical time-a silent, watchful presence. He comes home every night stinking of pig and drives around town aimlessly, paralyzed, wondering how to find a way out of his situation. I went to the war" what does he mean by this? Once people are dead, you can't make them undead. Image URLs (.png, .tif, .gif, and .jpg) will embed automatically. A million things all at once-I wasn’t for this war. 3. I could've done it. What about dominoes? I was wired and jittery. For a time I didn't pay attention to anything, just feeling the cold spray against my face, but then it occurred to me that at some point we must've passed into Canadian waters, across that dotted line between two different worlds, and I remember a sudden tightness in my chest as I looked up and watched the far shore come at me. Both my conscience instincts were telling me to make a break for it, just take off and run like the devil and never stop. . Once again. Learn more about The Things They Carried with Course Hero's FREE study guides and It dispensed with all those bothersome little acts of daily courage; it offered hope and grace to the repetitive coward; it justified the past while amortizing the future. If Elroy was curious about any of this, he was careful never to put it into words. Not to my parents, not to my brother or sister, not even to my wife. He never put me in a position that required lies or denials. "Hey, O'Brien," he said. All of us, I suppose, like to believe that in a moral emergency we will behave like the heroes of our youth, bravely and forthrightly, without thought of personal loss or discredit. I could see a squirrel up in one of the birch trees, a big crow looking at me from a boulder along the river. III In The Things They Carried ‘s “On the Rainy River” chapter, O’Brien recounts how one day, the old man took O’Brien fishing out on the Rainy River, which separates the U.S. from Canada. “On the Rainy River” Analysis “On the Rainy River” is an exploration of the role of shame in war. This is one story I've never told before. There were times when I thought I'd gone off the psychic edge. That old image of myself as a hero, as a man of conscience and courage, all that was just a threadbare pipe dream. Not to my parents, not to my brother or sister, not even to my wife. There was a dangerous wooden dock, an old minnow tank, a flimsy tar paper boat house along the shore. New York: Broadway Books. A word surrounded by hash signs (#) becomes a tag and links to posts with that tag. You're at the bow of a boat on the Rainy River. Then a second later I'd think, Run. Traitor! Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Twitter, and Spotify urls will embed the content automatically. I was twenty-one years old. The Lone Ranger. Was Ho Chi Minh a Communist, nationalist savior, or both, or neither? The day the draft notice is delivered, OBrien thinks that he is too good to fight the war. Nothing radical, no hothead stuff, just ringing a few bells for Gene McCarthy, composing a few tedious, uninspired editorials for the newspaper. I remember staring at the old man, then at my hands, then at Canada. It seems to him that there is no e… Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. This demonstrates a sexist stereotype that women are sensitive individuals who express too much emotion. on the rainy river comprehension questions and answers. It was as if there were an audience to my life, that swirl of faces along the river, and in my head I could hear people screaming at me. But in … I was ashamed of my conscience, ashamed to be doing the right thing. The Things They Carried - "On the Rainy River" STUDY. It's not just the embarrassment of tears. Just the two of us. Twenty-one years old, an ordinary kid with all the ordinary dreams and ambitions, and all I wanted was to live the life I was born to-a mainstream life-I loved baseball and hamburgers and cherry Cokes-and now I was off on the margins of exile, leaving my country forever, and it seemed so impossible and terrible and sad. . High up on the On the Rainy River: Post Colonial "On The Rainy River" is based on a time in 1968 where men were drafted into war to prove that men are fearless and have a strong mentality. (The Things They Carried 83) Ask your students what The Things They Carried is about, and chances are the words Vietnam, soldier, and war will make it into their first few sentences. The only thing that summer was moral confusion. Courage is a finite resource that can be stored up and saved in order to be used at just the right time. I was exhausted, and scared sick, and around noon I pulled into an old fishing resort called the Tip Top Lodge. Which item did you find most evocative of the war? I felt myself blush. Tom believed he was above the war and, was against the Vietnam war. It's a symbol for his mental state at the time. Even now, I'll admit, the story makes me squirm. nbradow5. 1st Broadway Books trade pbk. Text can link to URLs by using the following format: [linked text](http://theurl.com). Too smart, too compassionate, too everything. In all that time together, all those hours, he never asked the obvious questions: Why was I there? I was bitter, sure. Would it feel like dying? Would you feel pity for yourself? I couldn't endure the mockery, or the disgrace, or the patriotic ridicule. I hated Boy Scouts and camping out. At least the basics. Elroy does not pry into O’Brien’s plans, though they are probably fairly obvious. Why alone? And he knew I couldn't talk about it. He killed me at the Scrabble board, barely concentrating, and on those occa¬sions when speech was necessary he had a way of compressing large thoughts into small, cryptic packets of language. For a while I just drove, not aiming at anything, then in the late morning I began looking for a place to lie low for a day or two. This wasn't a daydream. The elderly owner, Elroy Berdahl, rents him a cabin. The sight of blood made me sick and I couldn't tolerate authority, and I didn't know a rifle from a slingshot. The Things They Carried At the end of "on the rainy river", the narrator says, I was a coward. #shortstory ... On my last full day, the sixth day, the old man took me out fishing on the Rainy River. Blurt it out-the man saved me. And I want you to feel it-the wind coming off the river, the waves, the silence, the wooded frontier. Men expressing emotion was, something that was not allowed as they should be "the strong individuals." My skin felt too tight. I was ashamed to be there at the Tip Top Lodge. At the end of "on the rainy river", the narrator says, I was a coward. Certainly that was my conviction back in the summer of 1968. He spends the summer in a meatpacking plant in his hometown of Worthington, Minnesota, removing blood clots from pigs with a water gun. However, new users cannot post links in comments. I could see tiny red berries on the bushes. I couldn't tolerate it. As a child, he always wanted to be brave, and believed he would be whenever the need arose. Not the details, of course, but the plain fact of crisis. Those razor eyes. Later it burned down to a smoldering pity, then to numbness. At dinner that night my father asked what my letter said, "Nothing," I said. In The Things They Carried‘s” On the Rainy River” chapter, O’Brien looks back at how he came to be in Vietnam, and how he nearly made the choice not to be there. Start studying The Things They Carried "on The Rainy River". the things they carried on the rainy river questions and answers. He does not agree with the cause of the war and grapples with his understanding of the purpose of it. On my last full day, the sixth day, the old man took me out fishing on the Rainy River. infographics! Right then, with the shore so close, I understood that I would not do what I should do. The 1960s, was a complete social disaster. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. . One morning the old man showed me how to split and stack firewood, and for several hours in silence out behind his house. "Wait.". The days were cool and bright. —Tampa Tribune Sd Times "The Things They Carried is distinguished by virtue of the novelty and complexity of its presentation. This two-lesson mini unit is designed for Tim O'Brien's fourth chapter of The Things They Carried, "On the Rainy River." After all, it was 1968, and guys were burning draft cards, and Canada was just a boat ride away. Most of it I can't remember. Pg 48 “One thing for certain, he knew I was in desperate trouble. “The man who opened the door that day is the hero of my life.” Pg 48 "Elroy Berdahl eighty-one years old, skinny and shrunken and mostly bald." I passed through towns with familiar names, through the pine forests and down to the prairie, and then to Vietnam, where I was a soldier, and then home again. 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