A letter from the government, that cannot be good news. OH MAN! No me! Why me?
Conflict: Man VS Society
I do not want to go to war. I am not even sure the U.S. should be involved. What are my options?
I could drive all the way to Canada. Nobody will find me there.
Tim O'Brien receives a letter in the mail. It is bad news, he has been drafted to go to war. He cannot understand his fate, he is not a war loving person, he does not even like camping! War is against everything he believes in.
Tim O'Brien sits on is bed pondering about the letter he received. He has not said anything to his family yet. He is very conflicted. He does not want to embarrass his family, but standing up to what he believes in takes more courage than he can muster.
I am sure I will not be seeing Elroy again, perhaps this is the way it should be.
Tim O'Brien drives north, without a destination. He is mad, actually he is feeling more emotions than he is able to process. He just wants to go, to forget about this war.
I went to Vietnam where I was a soldier, and then home again. I survived, but it's not a happy ending. I was a coward. I went to the war.
Elroy Berdahl takes Tim O'Brien fishing. On purpose, but without even suggesting anything to him, Elroy leads the boat close to the border to Canada. Tim sees his opportunity to go, to run away from this responsibility. Nevertheless, he thinks about the shame this would bring to his family. Little by little hi resigns himself to his fate.
Canada is so close. I could just swim from here. I know I should run, but I am too embarrassed to do so.
Poor kid, having to make such a desicion.
When Tim was ready to leave he looked for Elroy, but he was gone. He clean the kitchen and left his payment for the lodging on the table. He drove back home and then he went to war.
Tim O'Brien when to war, not out of conviction, but because he could not be brave enough to run away and to do what was right in his own eyes. He went to war feeling like a coward.