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Graduation Year

2016

Abstract

This paper explores and analyzes the psychological reasons for storytelling by soldiers and veterans both during and after their deployments in war. It brings in multiple works by author-veterans as well as critical writing about these books with a specific focus on Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien. Paul Berlin, the novel's protagonist, imagines a fictional quest leaving Vietnam and going all the way to Paris following the desertion of a fellow soldier gone AWOL. He creates this journey to create order, find meaning, generate understanding, and focus on the good rather than the bad. This paper also explores the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on the storytelling of soldiers in order to connect the disciplines of English Literature and Psychology.