He could not talk about it and never would.
The smell was beyond bad. He imagines that his father will be disinterested, thinking that he has his own World War II stories and that he would call Norman's courage and valor into question.
He was alone, without a weapon. Vietnam Campaign Medal Awarded to personnel who meet one of the following requirements: He thinks also of his father, whose greatest hope, that Norman would bring home medals from Vietnam, was satisfied.
He goes around and around the lake, which also has an offensive and stinking smell, but does not move to it, as he does not get to the shit field in his story as he tells it to his father in his imagination.
He thinks about his friend Max Arnold, who drowned in the lake. When they set up camp, they noticed a sour, fishlike smell. Ironically, because he cannot speak about his war experience with anyone, he cannot leave it behind him.
In answering his father's inquiry, Norman would first describe in detail the seven medals he had been awarded. Later he stops and watches the fireworks show. It sent Norman to war, its social obligations forced him to go to war, to feel guilty for only winning seven medals, but it doesn't want to know about the war.
He thinks about how his friends have gotten married or moved away to find jobs. The town refuses to hear the horror stories. He finished his root beer and pushed the intercom.
As Norman continues to play out the scenario in his mind about telling the story of the shit field, it becomes clear to him that he cannot tell the crux of the story, his attempt to save Kiowa from drowning: He parks his car and wades into the lake with his clothes on, submerging himself.
He finished his root beer and pushed the intercom. There are some things that are good about consistency though. Norman's problem is one of not having an audience to which he can address the stories of Vietnam that weigh heavily on him emotionally.
When Bowker didn't respond the voice over the intercom sounded slightly disappointed. Norman imagines telling his father about how he nearly won the Silver Star.
The Things They Carried study guide contains a biography of Tim O'Brien, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About The Things They Carried The Things They Carried Summary. Need help with Speaking of Courage in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried?
Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. The Things They Carried Speaking of Courage Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Things They Carried, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Mortality and Death Social Obligation. A summary of “Speaking of Courage” in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Things They Carried and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Free summary and analysis of the quotes in Speaking of Courage of The Things They Carried that won't make you snore. We promise. Before the war they'd driven around the lake as friends, but now Max was just an idea, and most of Norman Bowker's other friends were living in Des Moines or Sioux City, or going to school somewhere, or holding down jobs.The things they carried speaking of courage