civilians and soldiers. This effect of this symbol in the novel The Sorrow of War is to emphasize the grief of Vietnamese people whose life has been destroyed during the war. For instance, in the quote “Kien was told that passing this area at night one could hear birds crying like human beings. They never flew, they only cried among the branches.” (Ninh 6), it is described that birds cry like human beings. This imagery of small pretty birds crying like human beings, gives the reader a feeling of pity for the Vietnamese people affected by the war. Also, the main feature of bird is that they fly. However it is described that birds never flew but only cried and this adds this effect. Moreover, in the quote “Birds flew away noisily as the big iron birds above started swooping in for another round of bombing, flying in a hand-shaped formation over the anti-aircraft batteries, dropping their bombs. (Ninh 222) metaphor, airplanes described as big iron birds, is used to emphasize the grief of Vietnamese people. This emphasizes how powerless the Vietnames people were and so underlines the sorrow of Vietnamese people.Fireflies“As for the fireflies, they were huge. Some said they’d seen firefly lights rise before them as big as a steel helmet-some said bigger than helmets.” (Ninh 6)“It was true. Red sparks flew from the engine with each powerful strokes of the pistons. Kien though it looked like thousands of big fireflies escaping into the air, tracing an obvious, fiery line for others to see.” (Ninh 170)Fireflies represent Kien’s interest and it is used to emphasize the arrival of important events. In the first quote, analogy ‘as big as a steel helmet-some’ is used with hyperbole to emphasize the Jungle of Screaming Souls and by describing fireflies as something enormously huge, it adds importance to the Jungle of Screaming Souls. In the second quote, the author uses telegraphic sentence ‘it was true’ , similie ‘like thousands of big fireflies’, hyperbole and caesura to emphasize that Kien was going with the train.Cards“In his entire life Kien had never developed such a passion for cards as he developed here. They played all the time. At dark, straight after dinner, the game started. In the warm air which smelled of sweat and mosquito repellant the gamblers gathered enthusiastically, concentrating on their cards.” (Ninh 8)“They had plenty of time to relax and enjoy themselves before returning to the battlefields. They hunted, set traps, caught fish, and played cards.” (Ninh 8)“Now only the torn, dirty set of cards, fingerprinted by the dead ones, remained.Nine, Ten, Jack! Lofty, Big Thinh, and Can! Queen, King, Ace! Cu, Oanh, and Tac!Sometimes in his dreams these cards still appear. He shouts their names and plays solitaire. “Hearts, diamonds, spades…” They had bastardized the regimental marching song and made it a humorous cardplayers’ song:We’ll all be jokers in the pack,Just go harder in attack. Dealing’s fun, so hurry back, Enjoy the game, avoid the flakBut one by one the cardplayers at their fateful table were taken away. The cards were last used when the platoon was down to just four soldiers.” (Ninh 9)“If we leave this game unfinished Heaven will grant favors, keeping us alive to return and finish the game. So, slow down and we’ll survive this battle and continue the game later.” (Ninh 10)“But Heaven’s not stupid. You can’t cheat Him. If you play only half the game The Man Up There will send for all four of us and we’ll torment each other.” (Ninh 10)“I’ll play poker, or tell fortunes from cards for the devils in charge of the oil urns. That would be fun” (Ninh 10)The card game symbolizes the war where people’s lives are taken away very easily like cards easily die in card games and its purpose is to criticize politicians and war and emphasize how human beings are powerless and die easily in war. In the song We’ll all be jokers in the pack, Just go harder in attack. Dealing’s fun, so hurry back, Enjoy the game, avoid the flak rhyming words ‘pack’, ‘attack’, ‘back’, ‘flak’ are used to criticize politicians who use war to gain what they want, not caring about people’s lives. The quote “Now only the torn, dirty set of cards, fingerprinted by the dead ones, remained. Nine, Ten, Jack! Lofty, Big Thinh, and Can! Queen, King, Ace! Cu, Oanh, and Tac!” emphasizes how soldiers die very easily like cards in card games. Moreover, imagery of hell, and devil are used in the last two quotes above to criticize politicians and emphasize how soldiers can die anytime very easily while fighting in war. Lastly, the quote “In his entire life Kien had never developed such a passion for cards as he developed here. They played all the time. At dark, straight after dinner, the game started. In the warm air which smelled of sweat and mosquito repellant the gamblers gathered enthusiastically, concentrating on their cards.” (Ninh 8) emphasizes how easily people’s lives are taken away in war by showing how card games (war, where people lose their lives easily) became common among soldiers. Card symbolizes war and so ‘In his entire life Kien had never developed such a passion for cards as he developed here’ means that Kien has seen so many people die in war. Hence, the author uses cards as symbol of war to criticize the politicians behind the war and emphasize how many soldiers lost their lives easily during war. Book/Novel“An opened book.” (Ninh 32)“After all his trial essays, short stories, and novellas comes this novel, which he suddenly realizes is his last adventure as a soldier … He alone must meet this writing challenge, his last duty as a soldier.” (Ninh 50)“It felt like love. Perhaps it was recognition of some wonderful truth deep inside him. That same chilly dark spring night Kien started to write his first novel” (Ninh 76)“The process of recalling his work in gathering remains had breathed new energy into each page of his novel.” (Ninh 89)“The novel was the ash from this exorcism of devils” (Ninh 114)“The author had written because he had to write, not because he had to publish. He had to think on paper.” (Ninh 230)The book and novel symbolizes Kien’s relief from his terrible memories of war experience and its effect is to emphasize the huge impact of war on people who experienced it. Kien has a very hard time in writing his novels. He tries very hard to recall the memories of war to write in his novel and this action is ironic because contrastingly, he is trying to forget the sorrowful memories. Imagery of devil and repeating expression ‘being freed from the devils’ emphasizes how huge the impact of war is on people who experienced it and has a hard time trying to forget about it. Canina “Or if the stakes were higher, it would be snuff or pieces of flint or the roots of rosa canina plants, which were smoked like marijuana.” (Ninh 9)“Smoking rosa canina Kien would immerse himself in a world of mythical and wonderful dreams which in ordinary moments his soul could never penetrate. In these luxurious dreams the imagined air was so clean, the sky so high, the clouds and sunshine so beautiful, approaching the perfection of his childhood dreams.” (Ninh 12-13)“The soldiers each had their own way of smoking canina and ridding themselves of their shared harsh realities.” (Ninh 13)“Now that the rosa canina had all gone there was nothing for his soul to grab hold of, so it wandered, meandering freely. (Ninh 16) “Once in his dream-picture he had felt the waves lapping the side of his tiny sampan and looking up he had seen Phuong, youthful, innocently beautiful, her hair flying in the Hanoi beeze. (Ninh 13)“For Cu, cassava alcohol or rosa canina conjured up images of returning home.” (Ninh 13)“Vinh dreamed only of women…” (Ninh 13)“As for Elephant Tac, he dreamed mainly of food.” (Ninh 13)“The lethargy brought on by rosa canina spread from Kien’s scout-platoon huts through the entire regiment.” (Ninh 13)“Along with the gambling and smoking of canina …soldiers in their hallucinations had seen too many hairy monsters with wings and mammals with reptilian tails, or imagined they smelled the stench of their own blood.” (Ninh 14)Author Bao Ninh uses rosa canina in The Sorrow of war as a symbol of utopia. This is shown on pages 12-13 “Smoking rosa canina Kien would immerse himself in a world of mythical and wonderful dreams which in ordinary moments his soul could never penetrate. In these luxurious dreams the imagined air was so clean, the sky so high, the clouds and sunshine so beautiful, approaching the perfection of his childhood dreams.” (Ninh 12-13) where author describes the effect of rosa canina. The dictions like ‘mythical’, ‘wonderful’, ‘luxurious’, ‘clean’, ‘high’, ‘beautiful’, and ‘perfection’ present rosa canina very positively which provides the worn out soldiers some relaxation in their own utopia (dream) that contrasts with reality (war). When Kien was young, Phuong replaced his parent’s role and stayed always next to him. So he feels the emotion of being happy whenever he is with her. The quote “Once in his dream-picture he had felt the waves lapping the side of his tiny sampan and looking up he had seen Phuong, youthful, innocently beautiful, her hair flying in the Hanoi beeze. (Ninh 13) shows that rosa canina helped Kien forget about deleterious war and experience the feeling of happiness and relaxation in his dream where Phuong appears as ‘youthful, innocently beautiful’. Descriptions of effect of rosa canina on other soldiers like “For Cu, cassava alcohol or rosa canina conjured up images of returning home.” (Ninh 13) and “Vinh dreamed only of women…” (Ninh 13) also shows how it provided soldiers with relaxation in the utopia they imagined (dream) ridding themselves of their shared harsh realities.” (Ninh 13) The use of this symbol is important in this novel because it emphasizes how much war is changing the soldiers, filling them with fear and exhaustion, by contrasting the reality (destructive war) and soldiers’ dream of utopia. Alcohol“For Cu, cassava alcohol or rosa canina conjured up images of returning home” (Ninh 13)“I was at the top of the class at school. I've tried to discipline myself, to fulfill my duties, no disobedience, no gambling, no alcohol, no dope, no women, no swearing. And for what? All for nothing! I'm not jealous, just depressed (Ninh 20)“Often she would bring alcohol and cigarettes for him, something Kien had not done.” (Ninh 129)“Kien began drinking. There was plenty of free booze at the airport. He wandered around watching the soldiers looting, and joined in the drinking and destruction.” (Ninh 106)“One after another he downed the cups of brandy, the way a barbarian would, as id to insult life.” (Ninh 107)“The drinking continues, but the work continues too.” (Ninh 194)“Kien supposed nothing was terribly wrong with eating and drinking normally to help recover after such a catastrophe.” (Ninh 214)Alcohol is used as symbol for optimization and its purpose is to underline the sorrow of Vietnamese people. In the first quote alcohol is said to provide Cu a dream of him returning home which is what he desperately wanted. So it shows that alcohol helps people think positively and through this description of alcohol’s effect, the author highlights the contrasting sorrow of people in reality. Similarly, in the second quote, repetition of word ‘no’ with alcohol and exclamation mark emphasizes that without alcohol, Can can’t think positively but feel jealousy and depression. Similarly, alcohol is described very positively in other quotes and these emphasize the sorrow of Vietnamese people damaged by the war by showing how Kien and other characters desperately want alcohol to overcome the harsh reality and think positively. Trees“It seemed to the soldiers talking about these mystical happenings that intense physical pain could mingle with the earth and grow into the trees in the jungle” (Ninh 98)“Kien zigzagged through burning houses and wrecked buildings, fallen trees and power lines.” (Ninh 211)“Here, when it is dark, trees and plants moan in awful harmony.” (Ninh 6)“Damn it, peace is a tree that thrives only on the blood and bones of fallen comrades.” (Ninh 42)Tree represents agony of exhausted Vietnamese soldiers and its purpose is to emphasize the effect of devastating war and underline people’s sorrow. In the first quote, it is said that physical pain mingles with the earth and grows into the trees. This connection between the trees and soldier’s pain shows that tree symbolizes soldier’s agony. In the third quote dictions ‘dark’, ‘moan’, and ‘awful’ is used to describe how painfully soldiers suffered. The auditory imagery of trees moaning in awful harmony emphasizes the soldier’s agony even more. Thunderstorm“Kien lays his pen down. He turns off the table lamp, pushes his chair away, stands up and silently walks to the window. It is very cold in the room, yet he feels hot and breathless. He is uneasy, as though he feels a violent summer thunderstorm approaching, heralded by gusts of alternately hot and cold air.” (Ninh 48)“He stepped forward with his hand on the trigger. ‘Code Five!’ he called. No answer. The rain, the thunder, and the lightning seemed to halt abruptly.” (Ninh 27)“Every few minutes very small stations and sidings whizzed past his vision, some with dim lights on poles the only evidence of their existence. Then a thundering as they crossed a steel trestle bridge.” (Ninh 172)“That’s how the war started, with a storm. For Kien the storm continued for nearly eleven years, and even after the war his mental skies were clouded for another ten” (Ninh 176)Thunderstorm is used in the novel as symbol of feeling anxiety and nervousness to create tension and allude a danger or obstacle that is approaching. In the first quote telegraphic sentence ‘Kien lays his pen down’ and repetition of caesura ‘,’ is used with thunderstorm to create tension to allude that Kien is going to face another obstacle. Similarly in the second quote visual imagery ‘the rain, the thunder, and the lightning seemed to halt abruptly’ is used with thunder to create tension in the war scene. Moreover, in the last quote, numbers ‘eleven’ and ‘ten’ is used with storm to underline that war that is approaching is going to have devastating effect on Kien and so it creates tension. Hence, the author uses this symbol to create tension and allude approaching dangers. Spinal Injury“But day after day paralysis crept over his body, first traveling down his left leg, then his right, then along his trunk. By the time Kien was demobilized Sinh was walking with the help of a walking-stick, but within a short time his health had deteriorated further and he was confined to his bed. The doctors wondered how he had survived his terrible spinal wound, surprised he had not been killed outright. Instead, Sinh had lived and his suffering had been pro-longed. ‘Incurable,’ the doctors had said. The more they tried to help him the worse matters became for him and the relatives caring for him, and this unhappy situation continued for four years.” (Ninh 76)"Like Sinh, wounded in the spine, more dead than alive until he finally died where had lain for so long." (Ninh 63)Spinal injury symbolizes pain and it is used to emphasize the sadness and tragedy of war. In the first quote, there is deep description with dictions like ‘deteriorated’, ‘terrible’, ‘wound’, ‘incurable’, ‘unhappy’, ‘suffering’, and ‘demobilized’ which gives negative connotation. These descriptions helps the reader imagine how war has filled people with pain and the use of this symbol highlights the tragedy of war. Also, in the second quote, this symbol is used with the expression ‘more dead than alive’ to emphasize the tragedy of war. Mountain“Three regulars, he was certain, made the dangerous journey at night to the dark mountain through a wild, gloomy valley.” (Ninh 29)“I was standing in this peaceful, picturesque scene, looking southwest towards the four olive-green peaks of Ngoc Bo Ray mountain, when my new dream adventure began” (Ninh 45)“As Phuong was preparing to leave him she spoke: “we’re prisoners to our shared memories of wonderful times together. Those memories won’t release us. But we’ve made a big mistake. I thought we would face just a few small hurdles. But they aren’t small, they’re as big as mountains.” (Ninh 85)“’Now,’ he said, equally clearly, ‘I don’t know what to do with the mountain of papers.’ He meant his novel. Now that he had written it he had no use for it. Whatever devils he had needed to rid himself of had gone. The novel was the ash from this exorcism of devils.” (Ninh 114)“To one who has just returned the mountains still look the same. The forest looks the same. The stream and the river also look the same.” (Ninh 11)Mountain symbolizes danger or difficulty and its effect is to highlight the difficulty the characters face in the novel. In the first quote, dictions ‘dangerous’, ‘night’, ‘wild’, and ‘gloomy’ are used with mountain to emphasize the perilous journey. Similarly, in the second quote, diction ‘adventure’ is used with mountain to underline a new challenge. Moreover, in the last quote ‘mountain of papers’ is used to describe Kien’s manuscripts which contain hugely important stories. Lastly, in the third quote, analogy ‘but they aren’t small, they’re as big as mountains’ is used to underline the great obstacle, long time of separation during war, that blocks Kien and Phuong from loving each other like they did in their childhood. Dawn/Dusk“For that whole Sunday Kien wandered the streets in a trance, feeling a melancholy joy, like dawn mixed with dusk. He believed he had been born again, and the bitterness of recent postwar years faded. Born again into the prewar years, to resurrect the deep past within him, and this would continue until he had relived a succession of his life and times; the first new life was to be that of his distant past. His lost youth, before the sorrow of war.” (Ninh 87)“The sorrow of war inside a soldier’s heart was in a strange way similar to the sorrow of love. It was a kind of nostalgia, like the immense sadness of world at dusk. It was a sadness, a missing, a pain which could send one soaring back into the past.” (Ninh 94)“His table lamp came on at dusk and stayed glowing until down.” (Ninh 122)“At dawn the wind blew through his curtained window, letting drizzle into the room, wetting his furniture. Ashes blew from the stove, papers from his table, from the bookcase, and from a heap of pages in the corner.” (Ninh 228)“The peace train, as the soldiers called it—it was officially called the Thanh Nhat, the Unification Train—passed Thanh Hoa in the glow of dawn.” (Ninh 178)“A ring of fire lifted on the horizon in from of him and the shock waves lit the night, turning dusk into day for a few seconds and revealing Phuong, bathing” (Ninh 222)Dawn symbolizes hope while and dusk symbolizes extreme sadness. The effect of dawn is to tell the readers that there is hope while in contrast, the effect of dusk is to tell the readers that there is sad feeling. In the first quote, the repetition of ‘born again’ with simile ‘like dawn mixed with dusk’ emphasizes that there is hope. Similarly, in the fourth quote, the word dawn is mentioned to emphasize that there is hope although Kien has left because the Mute Girl gets Kien’s manuscripts which will be published and so it shows that in some way there is a new beginning. Meanwhile, in the second quote, analogy ‘like the immense sadness of world at dusk’ is used with visual imagery to emphasize the emotion of sadness and depression that is felt by the soldier. Hence, the author uses dawn and dusk as symbol of hope and melancholy to tell the readers whether there is going to be hope or depression in the novel.Film/Movies“I am watching a U.S. war movie with scenes of American soldiers yelling as they launch themselves into combat on the TV screen, and once again I’m ready to jump in and mix it in the fiery scene of blood, mad killing, and brutality that warps soul and personality.” (Ninh 47)“Now he dimly recalled dreaming some ugly scenes; they came to him in contrasting black-and-white images, like negatives on film. Still bleeding and dizzy, he had scrambled onto the locomotive as the train started off again and fallen into a deep sleep” (Ninh 202)“In later years, when he heard stories of V-Day or watched the scenes of the fall of Saigon on film, with cheering, flags, flowers, triumphant soldiers, and joyful people, his heart would ache with sadness and envy. He and his friends had not felt that soaring, brilliant happiness he saw on film.” (Ninh 107)Film and movie symbolize war memories and the purpose of using in the novel is to underline the sadness, depression, exhaustion, and pain that war brings to people. When films and movies are mentioned, the author uses diction like ‘ugly’, ‘dizzy’, ‘bleeding’, ‘sadness’, ‘envy’, and ‘negatives’ which has negative connotation to emphasize the ugliness of war and emphasize how war fills people with negative emotions like sadness and depression. Hence, through use of figurative language such as choice of diction, the author uses the film and movie as symbol of memories of war to emphasize its strong negative effect on people.The Mute girl"The mute girl had no way to express herself, for she neither read nor wrote properly and of course could not speak.” (Ninh 109)“….she remained apart from the others in the block of apartments.” “Most people had a hidden curiosity about the handicapped.” (Ninh 110)“The mute girl might have said the author’s craziest pages came when he was most unhappy; it was then he wrote part funereally, part insanely because of his insistent passion for life. That's what she might have said.” (Ninh 109)“The mute woman had obviously stayed the night, and found herself alone in his bed. Silently, she tidied the messy room. She gathered all the sheets of paper and piled them on the top of the manuscript ... People said of her that she was like a lost-property guardian, keeping all those messy papers.” (Ninh 228)The mute girl symbolizes Kien’s character development and its effect is to create relief in the dénouement. After Kien brakes up with Phuong, he always stays alone and the Mute girl is the first girl he allows to accost him. In the first quote, the words ‘neither’, ‘nor’, and ‘could not’ emphasizes that the Mute girl is not a character who can express her thoughts to Kien and she contrasts with Phuong so it shows character development in that Kien accepts this girl. In the last quote, the dictions ‘tidied’, ‘gathered’, ‘piled,’ and ‘keeping’ underlines that the mute girl takes care of Kien’s stories, his manuscripts, and so shows character development. Moreover diction ‘obviously’ further emphasizes character development by making development of Kien and the mute girl’s relationship as a natural progression. Kien’s acceptance and therefore character development. This character development gives relief in the denouement by showing that Kien wasn’t only filled with despair and sorrow after Phuong left him. Yellow“Nearing the end of his life, whether painting with oils or on silk, whether painting a man or a horse or a cow, whether it was rainy or sunny, morning or evening, town or countryside, forests or mountains, rivers or springs, even skies and sea, with no exception they were all done in varying tones of yellow. Yellow. No other colors, just yellow.” (Ninh 125)“When he looked at the yellow and faded photographs he saw a young woman looking back at him; but the look conveyed no meaning to him.” (Ninh 123)“His father had quit the world, gone in a sleepwalker’s dream, taking with him forever the deathly yellow paintings.” (Ninh 128)Yellow symbolizes depression caused by war and it is used to emphasize how war ruins people. In the quote “Nearing the end of his life, whether painting with oils or on silk, whether painting a man or a horse or a cow, whether it was rainy or sunny, morning or evening, town or countryside, forests or mountains, rivers or springs, even skies and sea, with no exception they were all done in varying tones of yellow. Yellow. No other colors, just yellow.” (Ninh 125) telegraphic sentences ‘yellow. No other colors, just yellow’ and repetition of ‘whether’ emphasizes how much devastating the effect of war was on people that everything is painted yellow which symbolizes depression. Dictions like ‘deathly’ and ‘no meaning’ in other quotes also emphasize how war has filled Vietnamese people with depression and sadness.Graveyard“The end! Kien had no doubt about it then. This was a graveyard. Every image, every trace of his father had been wiped away, replaced by a nothingness.” (Ninh 128)“The local people say canina thrives in graveyards or any area carrying the scent of death” (Ninh 12)“Kien was again back in the jungle at Cong Ho Rinh, an ancient, desolate village, now ruined, laid flat by fighting and now just a graveyard where human bones, broken weapons, and other war materials lay around like garbage” (Ninh 120)Graveyard symbolizes death and the author uses it to criticize and characterize war negatively. In the first quote, the author uses exclamation mark with telegraphic sentence ‘The end!’ and ‘this was the graveyard.’ and repetition of the word ‘every’ and dictions ‘end’, ‘doubt’, ‘wiped away’, and ‘nothiness’ to give negative connotation of war which causes death of many people. Similarly, in the third quote, caesura and dictions ‘desolate’, ‘ruined’, ‘fighting’, ‘bones’, ‘broken weapons’, and ‘garbage’ to give negative connotation of war. Moreover, the second quote says that canina grows up in graveyard. Canina, although it provides relaxation to exhausted soldiers, it brings soldiers to ruin because they only hope of escaping and once it was banned their sorrow was multiplied. So it again gives negative connotation.Artists“Later, many years later, while watching a pantomime where an artist bent over, writing his body in agonized desperation, by magical association Kien recalled the moments when Thinh had similarly crouched in sobbing despair, praying for Ho Bia.” (Ninh 35)“He had been completely out of step with the times, which required artists to accede to certain socialist ethics, to display material understandable to the working class” (Ninh 125)“His painting had been criticizes because his work was seen to be alien to the working-class understating of art” (Ninh 125)“His father had long ago stopped attending exhibitions, and he had been completely forgotten by his former circle of artists.” (Ninh 125)“Only the artist himself knew precisely why he went on his orgy of self-destruction and why he had wanted Phuong, and Phuong alone, to be his witness and help.” (pg. 130)Artist symbolizes self-destruction and it is used to emphasize the sorrow of Vietnamese people. In the first quote the dictions ‘agonized desperation’ and ‘sobbing despair’ emphasizes that artist’s agonized desperation was in some way similar to Thinh sobbing despair. Also, in the last quote, the words ‘self-destruction’ and ‘help’ have similar effect. War is able to create destruction and corruption to everything it encounters. When men and women go to war they usually come home with some very haunting memories. In the Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh Kien, the main character is corrupted and destroyed by war. Kien goes into war as a young man, not knowing too much about life he comes out of war a completely different person. I know that my grandfather went to the Vietnam war, but he never would share any of his memories. My grandfather would never have more than a few drinks but after the war he would drink heavily. This is what my family has told me since he would never talk to me about it. Although Kien survived the Vietnam war, it destroyed him because of all the pain and death he had to endure. It is expected to see a lot of death during a war but Kien watched all of his friends die. “Gradually the entire platoon was wiped out. Only Kien remained” (7). It had to be extremely difficult for Kien to watch as each one of his friends died. Most of the time he watched and barely surived as his friends died. Slowly the destruction of war was getting to Kien. He starts to turn mean and cruel after seeing lots of death. When he runs into four men who have killed innocent girls his first instinct is to kill the men even the young man who had nothing to do with it. The young man pleads for his life saying he will do anything to live and Kien responds harshly. ““So, you don’t mind dying? I’ll satisfy you, with as much blood as you wasn’t.” Kien was shouting then laughing grimly””(38). Ninh almost makes Kien sound insane, and one would have to be insane to want to kill four men when he has already seen so much corruption. This shows how corrupt Kien had become because if he was younger just going into the war he would never want to kill four men. As each day went on and as Kien saw more and more death he became more corrupt. His memories began to haunt him, “From now on life may be always dark, full of suffering, with brief moments of happiness” (44). Kien will never be able to get over the war, it destroyed his spirit. After the war he turns to drinking and writing to help him overcome his corruption. I know that when my grandfather came back he drank more heavily than before. He never said why he drank more or what happened to him in the war. People who go to war never come back the same, they usually come back as a different person because they have seen so much destruction. Kien goes to war young and hopeful of the future, he comes out depressed and ready to die. He watches as each one of his friends die and how he gets off lucky. War can do awful things to people like it made Kien an alcoholic and very unhappy. Kien spent his youth in the war and the rest of his life remembering and being haunted by it.