Going After Cacciato Reports Example
An average American lad, Paul Berlin was sent to Vietnam in the year 1968. On his first day at camp, a man named Billy Boy Watkins belonging to his platoon dies from fright after stepping on a land mine. His death becomes a recurring memory throughout the story. Other platoon members experience grave deaths. There were Frenchie Tucker and Bernie Lynn, who both die in a tunnel and was shot. As a result of this, the lieutenant was removed from the platoon as he was seen as a hindrance to the group’s survival after imposing strict regulations for everyone to inspect tunnels. Other deaths were manifested by Rudy Chassler, who steps on a landmine and Pederson, who was shot by two gunners from a helicopter. To deal with the horrors of the war, the boy used his imagination. A split from his reality comes when another platoon member named Cacciato leaves, and the whole squad comes after him.
The story of chasing Cacciato begins when the platoon spends time between June and August moving along the coast of the River Song Tra Bong. Here they look for the enemy while going through mountain tops and tunnels to look for bodies or survivors. When they chose to camp out in the pagoda, they discover Cacciato’s abandonment. They were exhausted from all of the perils of the war. In addition the Lt. Corson does not seem interested to pursue Cacciato anymore, but eventually leads the squad to find him and bring him back to camp. The group tries to pursue Cacciato for a number of days, but their attempts to stop him before he enters Laos were put in vain. They then just decided to turn back from the chase.
The story jumps between timelines going from the present back to the past. All is the brainchild of Paul’s observation and imagination. All seems to be connected in the month of September when the whole troop chases Cacciato before making it to Laos. From there, Berlin’s dream brings the squad to a long and running chase to Paris to get Cacciato.
During this chase to Paris, the group discovers a refugee of Chinese origin in Laos named Sarkin Aung Wan, who eventually falls into a tunnel. Here, they enter Vietcong. The men got out of the tunnel with the help of Sarkin Aung Wan, and then they arrive at the tunnels in Mandalay. They then continue their chase into India where the Lt. Corson falls in love and loses interest in the case. The squad then had to coerce the Lt. to continue the chase. After going through Afghanistan where they were arrested, and Cacciato helps them escape, they move to Tehran, Athens, Germany and Luxemburg they finally arrive in Paris.
During their stay in the country, the men arrived exhausted and began to behave more like civilians. Berlin and Sarkin Aung Wan get a place together and eventually starts to neglect their mission. Oscar then kindly reminds everyone about their mission. There comes a meeting between Berlin and Aung Wan at a conference table for Peace Talks. Sarkin starts to ask Berlin to leave the war and be happy about his life. However, Paul does not seem convinced as his fear for himself is less than his fear of letting his country and family down,
Eventually, Berlin finds Cacciato, and the squad tries to capture him. By the time they enter a room, Paul Berlin enters reality and goes back to the time when they were chasing after Cacciato in Vietnam.
The main theme of the novel revolves around death. It is quite evident that this idea lurks around the whole novel as represented by the many deaths caused by the war. His imagination of chasing after Cacciato is his only way of coping up with the difficult times of the war. There was death in following orders. A testament to this was Frenchie, Bernie, and Lt. Sidney Martin, who died all in the stakes of protocol.
The greater part of death in this novel does not fit the hero’s image as all of it are not glorious deaths. Rather, these deaths were inglorious and fast. It fully depicted the realities faced by soldiers every day during the Vietnam war.
Another theme worthy of discussion that came evident throughout the novel was courage and control. However, at a larger scale, control is mostly evident. The issue and theme of control are quite evident each time Paul loses his control over his imagination. Paul’s need for control is shown by repeatedly trying, during the whole course of the novel, to put an order to his memories of the horrific sites of the war. As a result, he turns to his imagination in order to cope with the stress and trauma that comes with the war.
This story, he created in his mind, helped him cope with everything that he has seen in the war. As for anyone who undergoes the same experience, it is at most a hard experience to cope with especially at this age. The fantasy of going after Cacciato helped him organize the events in his life during the war, and it let him had a sort of relief after seeing horrible deaths.
I do have a personal liking of the novel because it somehow gives a surreal and also a realistic view of what happens at war. Who better to write actual war moments than soldiers themselves right? I took it as a message to consider the situation of our countrymen who fight overseas. Being faced with horrible deaths and experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would certainly drive any man to resort to any coping mechanism. I would recommend this book to my friends as it is classic that deals with the true stresses of fighting for honor.
This novel brings me to a great research on Post-Traumatic Stress and the different mechanisms that people faced with traumatic events commonly use. I would want to focus on this research topic as I see it fit for the majority of people today. Many are faced with traumatic events in their life with nothing to cling on to. This topic would be a perfect idea to help people cope with their problems.
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