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Vietnam and BeyondTim O'Brien and the Power of Storytelling$
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Stefania Ciocia

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318207

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317767

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date: 20 November 2017

The Courage of Authenticity

The Courage of Authenticity

Chapter:
(p.48) 2 The Courage of Authenticity
Source:
Vietnam and Beyond
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317767.003

This chapter, which argues that authenticity provides the conceptual context of O'Brien's analysis of courage and masculinity, illustrates his awareness of the limitations of the Bildungsroman model, so common both in war and in anti-war writing, but rejected by most of his narratives. In this sense, O'Brien takes the lead from Stephen Crane's ironic treatment of the quest for military glory in The Red Badge of Courage (1895), but pushes the anti-heroic lesson one step further, disputing the need for experiential contact with the war in order to ascertain one's courage and moral integrity.

Keywords:   courage, masculinity, Bildungsroman model, war, moral integrity, Stephen Crane

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