The Sorrow of War

Post War Life in The Sorrow of War 11th Grade

The Sorrow of War is a unique war novel in that it places special attention on the different parts of the lives of its characters: before the war, and after. The main character, Kien, takes up most of the book with his life stories. However, there are several other characters who have their post war stories told in this novel. Such characters include Phuong, Lan, and Sinh. The course of their lives after the war are very significant to the meaning and purpose of this novel.

Kien was already known to live in his pre-war past. The book tends to occasionally focus on the better days of his life, when he was still young and innocent. However, the war had jaded and scarred him, both in body and mind. The horrors and atrocities stayed with all of the soldiers who had the misfortune of surviving the war: “. . . psychological scars of the war will remain forever” (193). Even the memories of battles torture the souls of soldiers, just like Kien. He uses many different examples in the novel: the three girls in the farmhouse, the brutal death of Quang, the rape and sacrifice of Hoa. These are only few of the graphic depictions of loss and suffering in war. Things like these stay with the men and women forever, coming back in the form of...

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