In Tim O”Brien’s novel, If I Die in a Combat Zone, a unique, young man examined the Vietnam War. Feelings toward the war at that time were mixed and questioned by many people in the U.S. There were many opinions ranging from positive to negative. Tim’s beliefs somewhat remained the same since he already had negative concepts about the war. His thoughts after he was drafted lead the reader to believe that he was obligated and pressured to fight in the Vietnam War. During basic training, he still felt skeptical about the reasons for fighting in the war. There were too many questions up in the air and too few answers. And finally, during his combat duty, we see that Tim was in Vietnam physically, yet not mentally. These three times during Tim’s life show life-changing experiences, thoughts, and decisions.
The Vietnam War had been going on for some time, and a draft in Minnesota was something people did not look forward to. Many of Tim’s college friends escaped the draft with doctor’s notes or chaplain notes. This was an obvious fear of death in war. Tim was officially in the draft. He did not want to go to the war for his own reasons. He thought it was evil, and it was the wrong war to fight. He thought people were dying in Vietnam for no reason. .
To ease his mind, he tried to reassure himself that the war would end before he really had to do anything. Tim had not realized that the idea of his involvement in the war was near. It was not talked about within his family. It was understood that Tim would go to war. He could not really back out since he did not want to embarrass his family. He did not want to represent a person that did not want to defend his country. There seemed to be a lot of pressure, not by his parents directly, on him to leave for war. It seemed to be the right thing to do. .
Meanwhile, the time for Tim’s departure for basic training was approaching very quickly. A lot of outside pressure made Tim grudgingly go to the next level.