A Quick Rat Kiley Character Analysis
The rat has a respectable personality. The platoon members like the way he handles their wounds. Being a medic, he has mastered the way the injuries should be treated. Despite the difficult war environment, he still does his best to ensure that the soldiers are treated properly. This is why he commands respect from the platoon members in Vietnam. He is a reliable person that Alpha Company can count on in case there is an operation that needs an experienced medic. For instance, he is the one who properly treated O’Brien’s gunshot wound when he was shot the first time. He is someone who is organized given how hard it can sometimes be to patch up a wound from a gunshot.
He is also a good storyteller. With the knowledge of how to relate what happened in one place to what happened in a completely different environment, many people pay attention to what he has to say. Though O’Brien finds him unreliable in narrating the stories chronologically, there are many things that O’Brien learns from him about storytelling.
Kiley is also a persevering person. Despite the hard times, the death of several soldiers, the attacks and other horrific happenings, he still manages to maintain his composure as he treats the soldiers. That is not something that most people can do. However, it gets to a point where he cannot take it anymore. Consequently, he shoots himself so that he can be removed from duty forcefully. This means he reached a level where he could not take it anymore. The act was caused by the suicide of Bowker. At the same time, Mary Bell also behaves as if she is insane.
Rat is someone full of paranoia in some cases. At night, he can visualize non-existent body parts. Such things make him fearful. In the process, he makes the other members of the platoon fearful as well.
Rat’s character is a demonstration of what war can do to people. At first, he is composed and does everything properly. It is his stories that keep people going. However, he reaches his limit. A man who was once confident, relaxed, and calm becomes wild and paranoiac and even ends up shooting himself. That is what war does to the innocent. They become wild and uncontrollable in the face of a violent war environment.