Document Type

Honors Project

Abstract

In this project I consider the process of narrative construction in Vietnam War memoirs and oral histories, with special emphasis on Michael Herr’s Dispatches, and I examine the interaction between traditional narrative norms and the irregularities of the Vietnam War. Beginning with an exploration of the unique nature of war stories, I discuss the difficulty of communicating the war experience. I then explore the interplay of public accusation with authorial confession and justification, arguing that the desire to explain the particular conditions of the war informs not only the content but also the language and structure of the texts.

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