Make your own free website on

"All those eyes on me - the town, the whole universe - and I couldn't risk the embarrassment. It was as if there were an audience to my life, that swirl of faces along the river, and in my head I could hear people screaming at me. Traitor! they yelled. Turncoat! Pussy! I felt my self blush. I couldn't tolerate it. I couldn't endure the mockery, or the disgrace, or the patriotic ridicule. Even in my imagination, the shore just twenty yards away, I couldn't make myself be brave. It had nothing to do with morality. Embarrassment, that's all it was." (The Things They Carried, p. 61-62). Many young warriors chose the path of war. But their decision was not based on patriotism, morality, or justice. Instead, they collapsed under "peer pressure," and was afraid of facing embarrassment. Their decision was based on fear - fear of humiliation.