초록 close

This paper examines the Vietnam War's aftereffects on veterans in Larry Heineman's Paco's Story and Bobbie Ann Mason's In Country, which are pervades with haunted ghosts and war memories. Both novels transcend the simplicity of anti-war literature and delve into the complexity of human relations created by horrible war experiences. Despite the authors' difference in gender and their war experience, both novels surprisingly share many characteristics in the narratives when they represent the veterans' lives and their psychology: They suffer from horrible memories and terrifying war experiences, and their bodies become the emblems of their physical and psychological scars. They seek inner peace and try to avoid the lonely survivors from the battlefield, Paco and Emmett, the protagonists in their respective novel, focus on order and pattern in their lives to assuage their psychological pain. However, the two novels are quite different in their dealings with women's attitudes toward the Vietnam War and its veterans. Indeed, women are crucial to defining the society's view of them in each narrative. Paco's story persists in the prevailing ideology that women cannot grasp war experiences, as is shown in Cathy's distorted relationship with Paco. In a sense, the novel proves the veterans' ambivalent feelings toward women who they feel are benefits of their sacrifices. However, in Mason's novel the women's rehabilitating power is emphasized, which enables a despairing veteran to regain his strength and desire for life. The author endeavors to prove that women can understand the war's unspeakable chaotic experiences. Through such women's sympathy toward the veterans and Sam's identification with a name that matches hers in the wall of the Vietnam War Memorial at the end of novel, Mason declares the ending of the mourning process of the Vietnam War. The two opposite endings of the narratives reveal the not yet resolved feelings and conflicting emotions which still exist in the American society concerning the war.