The Things They Carried

What would be some great annotations I can make in "On The Rainy River"?

I had to annotate "On The Rainy River" and I was wondering what would be some good annotations to make

Also, why is the chapter called "On The Rainy River?"

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“On the Rainy River” contains the main existential and moral crisis of the book. The turning point at the river is a classic Freudian scene. The boy wants to jump out of the boat, his ego and his id (his authentic desires) strain to go. But his superego (what society orders) constrains him. In this story, the superego is symbolized by O’Brien imagining large crowds of people watching him make his decision. The scene takes place on a river; water for Freud often symbolizes the unconscious, where the battle between the superego, id and ego takes place.

Ultimately others’ expectations of him are more powerful than O’Brien’s own moral compass. His deference to his superego is O’Brien’s tragic flaw. Tragic heroes in Greek plays also have a tragic flaw: the one shortcoming from which all of their other misdeeds flow. O’Brien’s tragic flaw is caving to society.

The image of O’Brien working at the meatpacking factory foreshadows of what is to come in Vietnam. The stench of dead pig hangs on the boy, just as the stink of death will permeate war. But both are tragic-comic situation. The troops joke around; O’Brien with a hose washing down dead pigs is absurd in a humorous way. Both the experience of the factory is isolated by both experiences, and finds it hard to talk to other people about them afterwards.

After a long buildup, and the climactic decision in the boat, O’Brien ends the story with a paradox. The fact that he was a coward made him do the bravest thing imaginable: place himself in a life-threatening situation. The New York Times book review of O’Brien’s book was titled “Too Embarrassed Not to Kill." Embarrassment and shame turn out to be the pervasive themes of the book.