|"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.