Thursday, October 22, 2015

Exploration 6 - Alan Brophy

The chapter Church has meant the most to me because I can relate to Dobbins about becoming a minister and also Kiowa for feeling wrong for setting up in a sacred place. Dobbins makes a comment about becoming a priest because he thought it would be good living, and I agree with him. I am devote in my religion, but I also knew from a young age that I did not really want to be a priest, though many thought it would be a good job for me. I will say that I have been tempted by the prospect of it, yet I doubt I will ever take the offer because I know what I want to do with my life already. Dobbins, doesn't know exactly what he wants to do with his life, but he also knows he could not be a priest because it does take a lot of smarts. Dobbins on the other hand does have the persona for being a priest which would get him through it if he had tried.

I connect the best with Henry Dobbins because I believe we share a lot of the same traits, yet are also polar opposite in others. Dobbins is a nice guy, superstitious, and lucky. I am nice, I am very very lucky, and I, unlike Dobbins, am sharp. Although I am not superstitious, I think Dobbins and I share a lot of the same type of luck. For example, being in the middle of a firefight and not getting injured for Dobbins, while I can play goalkeeper and not get hurt seriously until my Senior year of High School.

The dialogue in Church is a great narrative tool as it develops both Dobbins and Kiowa from two soldiers, to two people. In the passage you can see both of their viewpoints and more personally get to know them.

"They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing—these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible eight. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it could never be put down, it required perfect balance and perfect posture. They carried their reputations. They carried the soldier's greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment. They crawled into tunnels and walked point and advanced under fire. Each morning, despite the unknowns, they made their legs move. They endured. They kept humping. They did not submit to the obvious alternative, which was simply to close the eyes and fall. So easy, really. Go limp and tumble to the ground and let the muscles unwind and not speak and not budge until your buddies picked you up and lifted you into the chopper that would roar and dip its nose and carry you off to the world. A mere matter of falling, yet no one ever fell. It was not courage, exactly; the object was not valor. Rather, they were too frightened to be cowards."

This quote means a lot to me because I can relate to it in some ways and I also just think it sums up what a soldier is in a sense. I read a lot of war books that are from the point of view of the soldier and I also talk to a lot of veterans. This quote is a huge part in the mental state of a soldier. This is how they continue going in some sense, although I have no personal experience, I speak from others' personal experience.

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