The Truth of War Project
Art Piece & Artist Statment
Paint on Canvas
In my painting, I express how war is Twistedly Beautiful through a picture of a landscape painting crookedly hanging on a blank beige wall. Underneath the hanging picture is the quote “War is twistedly beautiful.” On the left of the hanging picture, two wires can be seen coming from underneath the picture and snaking down the wall off the Canvas. This represents a bomb lurking behind the painting and ties together the main theme of my art. The crooked picture represents how beauty is hard to find in war, surrounded by blankness and emptiness. More importantly, it also shows how when beauty is found, it is twisted and distorted. In my depiction, the picture is rigged to explode whenever it is attempted to be touched or straightened. This shows how when beauty is rarely found in war, it is twisted and deceptive. It is never so the eye sees and there is always an added component that distorts the beauty.
For our truth of war project, we looked for the real “truth” and “meaning” of war through books, readings, videos, and even veteran interviews from people who served in Vietnam. We looked in depth at the book The Things They Carried By: Tim O'Brien and did a socratic seminar on his ideas of truth in war stories. We were also assigned groups veterans to interview in groups of three or four. My group of four got to interview Mr. Brian McAleer.
The Storycorps Military Voices Initiative
For this project, we were given the opportunity to interview a Vietnam war veteran in small groups of 3 and 4. In my group of 4, we were able to interview Vietnam veteran Mr. Brian McAleer. We created questions as a group and contacted our veteran to set up an interview at our school. When conducting the interview, I found it most interesting when he explained his role in his second portion of his deployment as a crew member on a CH-47 chinook helicopter. The most challenging part of the interview was probably having to form our questions to his specific role in the war, as some of our questions were geared towards someone who would have seen face to face combat. From my veteran, I learned more about the truth of war. For example, I learned that not every single person in the military was in Vietnam for the war, I also learned that there are approximately 6 men supporting every one man on the ground fighting. After reflecting on my interview, I feel that it was avert eye opening experience to hear about the war from someone who actually fought in it.
The Things They Carried Socratic Seminar reflection
Our socratic seminar in class was about the book The Things They Carried By Tim O'Brien. Overall, I was extremely impressed with myself this seminar. Usually when doing a seminar I am very quiet and do not contribute much to the group because I am shy. But for the first time, due to Ally’s amazing teaching skills and my preparedness, I spoke more than four times. I felt extremely happy with myself for doing this, and felt that I was able to really contribute to the group in that way. I felt very engaged in the seminar because of my contributions and wasn't shy or nervous to speak up after speaking for the first time early in the seminar. For me, this was huge improvement that I am very proud of. Other than my personal growth, I also learned about was a “true war story” really is and the nature of truth in The Things They Carried. For me, the nature of truth does not need to be an exact frame by frame account of the things that happened in the story, some details can be made up and forged. What I have found is that the most important part about the nature of a true war story is that it conveys a deeper meaning and helps the reader understand the situation the story tells. To me, that is most important, as long as the moral stays “true”.
Writing a True History of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident
For this timed write project, we were presented with multiple documents about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. We had to use our historical thinking skills in order to break down the text in the documents and find the deeper meaning hidden within the documents as well as the “untold truths”. When breaking down these documents, I used contextualizing the best because contextualizing allowed me to then further dig into the text and pull “hidden” conclusions from within the documents to add to my analyses. After using my historical thinking skills, I learned more about the nature of truth in war. For example, I learned that when president Johnson was writing a proposal to congress about going to war in Vietnam, the terms he used like “All steps necessary” were directly chosen so war would be an option in Vietnam as well as many other words and phrases.
Take-Aways and Enduring Understandings
Overall, after this project entirely I feel that I have been able to draw multiple conclusions about truth and war. I now feel that the true truth of war is how much more their is in war than just fighting, but how clouded those things become in the war environment. While looking for the truth in this project, I feel I learned a lot about myself and the world. I furthered my understanding of not on physical war but also how war can be created and formed and most importantly how much war has shaped my pest and how much future wars could change my future. I also learned how intense war can be and how war manipulates people and changes people almost always for the worst. I learned that whenever you find something that seems to be peaceful or positive in war, it is short lived and always followed by something much more disturbing than you could ever imagine, due to the fog war seems to create.