Awar is a struggle against an opposition that has equal or highercapability to harm an individual. This is the depiction that ispresented by the stories “Persepolis 1” by Marjane Satrapi and“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. However, in relationto the stories, war is illustrated as a situation of not onlyfighting against the physical opposition, but also elements ofundesired emotional and mental control. The discussion in this essayillustrates that life has different struggles that are illustrated bythe concept of war.
Lifeinvolves a war against what a person does not want to see win in bothpersonal life and for the country. In the two stories, women areillustrated as reminders of a struggle against obstacles in life. In“The Things They Carried,” Lieutenant Jimmy Cross illustratesthat being at war is not the only physical fighting but also mentalstruggle. He is constantly struggling against a memory of a womanthat he shared experiences with. To illustrate the mental war that heis going through, he keeps carrying a photo of the lady wherever hegoes (O’Brien 151).
Inthe story, Persepolis 1, Marjane narrates how she has to struggleagainst the effects of the Cultural Revolution that forces her towear a veil to conform to the new order. This is a struggle that shehas to live with as a war against the new ideology that theauthorities brought to fight capitalism. She has to keepunderstanding the need to fight and maintain her own identity amidattempts by the environment to shape her identity. This is the samestruggle that Lieutenant Jimmy Cross had as he fought for his freedomto meet Martha one day once the war ended.
Lifeis depicted as a constant fight against the ideologies that are notpart of the believe system of the two narrators in the two stories.In the story, Persepolis 1, Marjane illustrates how there is aconstant struggle for supremacy between capitalists and communism.Communists closed schools that were deemed capitalistic, which led toa demonstration that illustrated the fight communists for the veiland capitalists against the veil (Marjane 41).
Asillustrated in the two stories, human nature is vulnerable and canlead to stress. Due to humanity, people die and get defeated sincelife is a struggle against an enemy. In Persepolis 1, Marjane’sparents speak of many casualties that are killed by the police asthey demonstrate against the system (Marjane 44). At a personallevel, Marjane also suffered emotional breakdown due to theexperiences she faces and stories of people dying in the antagonism.The story “The Things They Carried,” illustrates Lieutenant JimmyCross’s character to be highly emotional and easily distractible ashe sees his men die (O’ Brien 219).
Thetwo stories, the narrations show that life is a war that gets peopleto succumb to the pressure brought by the experience. Other thanexposing people to situations of life and death, life also brings awar against what a person does not want. While the characters in thestories have their own way of disarming their greatest fears andanxiety, they have proved that life is a war to win. As expressed byLieutenant Jimmy Cross and Marjane every person posses the ability towin against the experiences they get into.
Marjane,Satrapi. Persepolis:The Story Of A Childhood.New York : Knopf DoubledayPublishingGroup, 2003O’Brien,Tim. TheThings They Carried.Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Print.