Where have you gone Charming Billy Why does Toby want to keep Paul quiet?

Asked By: Severine Castiblanco | Last Updated: 5th April, 2020
Category: news and politics war and conflicts
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Why does Toby want to keep Paul quiet? He wants Paul to stop laughing because he wants to reach the sea safely. The story ends with the soldiers reaching the sea. Paul is told that half of the battle of the war is staying calm.

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Also to know is, where have you gone Charming Billy How does the story end?

In the story, we learn that he unknowingly steps on a land mine and gets his foot blown off. Even though he is told he'll survive, he ends up so scared that he has a heart attack and dies. This is ironic because instead of dying from having his foot blown off like you'd expect, he literally scares himself to death.

Similarly, what was one trick Paul used to keep himself from thinking? The tricks that he used to keep from thinking were counting his steps and singing songs in his head. What had Paul been taught about walking in formation in the jungle? Paul had been taught to stay off the center of the path and stay alert.

Moreover, why does Paul continue laughing in Where Have You Gone Charming Billy?

The two recurring themes in the story are Paul's fear and the death of fellow soldier, Billy Boy Watkins, who died of a heart attack that afternoon. The platoon marches silently, trying to avoid the notice of enemy forces.

What is ironic about how Billy Boy dies?

It is ironic that Billy Boy doesn't die of an enemy bullet in the war but of a heart attack. It, however, later unfolds that although Billy Boy had in fact stepped on a landmine and lost a leg, it was fear of death and not the landmine that had killed him. Contrary to expectations, his body finds no grace in death.

10 Related Question Answers Found

What is the theme in Where Have You Gone Charming Billy?

Fear – the major theme of this story is how scary war is. Paul Berlin experiences his fears throughout the story. "Though he was afraid, he now knew that fear came in many degrees and types and peculiar categories". Courage – Paul Berlin learns that he has to have courage if he wants to overcome his fear of the war.

Where are you charming Billy?

In “Where Have You Gone Charming Billy”, the main character is Private First Class Paul Berlin. The story takes place in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It is Paul's first day and he is having an extremely hard time fighting anxiety and fear. One soldier in his platoon has already died from a heart attack.

Where have you gone Charming Billy literary devices?

In the story “Where Have You Gone, Charming Billy? ,” by Tim O'Brien, the three main literary elements are theme, irony, and setting because it shows the true meaning of Paul's fear. In “Where Have You Gone, Charming Billy? ,” one of the main themes is that fear alone can kill you.

What theme or central idea relating to war is O'Brien expressing in this story?

This story that is set in the Vietnam War, a war in which for the first time, American soldiers could not clearly identify their enemy because not all of the enemy wore uniforms and they looked alike, the central theme is that of Existential Fear.

What is the significance of the song Where have you gone Billy boy?


1. The song Where have you gone Billy Boy: They sing it as the soldier's name is the same as that of the boy referred to in the song. Ironically, the soldier, Billy Boy never lives to talk about the woman he wants to marry.

Why does Paul worry about being as terribly afraid?

Billy Boy's death was caused by fear; Paul worries that if he becomes so terribly afraid he may die as well. Even if he does not die, the fear will build on itself until he is unable to function because he is so afraid.