He was just a boy. Why did I kill him? Was it wrong for me to kill him?
MAN vs SOCIETY
Can you pull this tooth out for me?
I guess, but your tooth is perfectly fine.
O'Brien was at the ambush site outside of My Khe area around midnight. He saw a young man come out of the fog and he got scared. He wanted the man to go away, so he took the pin out of the grenade and threw it. After realizing that the grenade would kill him, he had to hold back wanting to warn the man. The man was dead and was left with a star-shaped hole instead of an eye.
MAN vs NATURE
My friend just died so i'm gonna torture this animal.
I'm a baby water buffalo.
After killing the young man during the ambush, O'Brien begins to feel guilty. He is fighting himself on whether or not it was wrong for him to kill the man. If he didn't kill the man the man could've killed him, but he has this thought that maybe this man didn't even wanna fight in the war. He thought that maybe he was just doing it because he had to .
Lemon is known as the the guy who isn't scared of anything, not even the war. When the dentist comes to check the soldiers' teeth, he faints in the dentist's tent. To prove that he is still brave and to redeem himself, he goes to get a perfectly good tooth pulled that night. He is afraid that if he isn't known as brave he will lose his friendships with the other soldiers.
MAN vs SELF
I'm all alone and have no one to talk to
Rat Kiley is upset because his friend, Curt Lemon, dies. The soldiers find a baby water buffalo. Rat Kiley pets its nose, tries to feed it, and then starts shooting it. He tortures the buffalo and continues to shoot it until there is almost nothing left of it. Then they drop the baby buffalo in a well.
When Norman Bowker returns home from the war, he cannot seem to return back to normal. He ends up hanging himself in a YMCA locker room. He was a quiet boy and didn't wanna both anyone. He felt alone and as if he had no one to talk to about the war and what it did to him.