by Rachel Martin (Host)
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
A Horseman in the Sky
- Ambrose Bierce
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842 – c. 1914) was an American journalist, satirist, and short story writer. In this short story set during the American Civil War, a young Virginian man joins the Union Army and falls asleep on one of his watches. When he awakes, he faces a difficult duty.Pair “For Many Returning Vets, ‘Moral Injury’ Just as Difficult” with “A Horseman in the Sky” and ask students to discuss the psychological effects of war.
Introduction to the Vietnam War
“Introduction to the Vietnam War” is a summary of the United States’ involvement in the war, the decline in public support for the war, and the impact of the war on the Vietnamese people.Pair “For Many Returning Vets, 'Moral Injury' Just As Difficult” with “Introduction to the Vietnam War” and ask students to consider what life is like for veterans returning home. Why do we continue to struggle with supporting veterans dealing with trauma, just as we did following the Vietnam War? Are the impacts of war ethical? When is it justified?
High Court Reviews Insanity-Defense Case
- Nina Totenberg
This NPR news transcript discusses whether the Supreme Court will accept the “insanity defense” when a schizophrenic man shoots an officer.Pair these two texts that deal with mental injury, whether it’s the “moral injury” caused by the trauma and tragedy of war or paranoid schizophrenia and the inanity defense. Discuss how something mental can have devastating and real physical effects on people’s lives. What do students think the relationship between these two groups of people might be, people pleading insanity like Eric and people returning from war like Kudo? Or, how are their places in society different?
Behind Bars, Vets With PTSD Face A New War Zone, With Little Support
- Quil Lawrence
This article explores the ordeals faced by combat veterans, exemplified by the experiences of David Carlson, an Iraq veteran with PTSD and legal troubles.Pair “Behind Bars, Vets With PTSD Face A New War Zone, With Little Support” with “For Many Returning Vets, 'Moral Injury' Just As Difficult” and ask students to think about the effect of war on its participants. How do memories of encounters such as the one described in the latter piece affect veterans? How does this relate to the issues faced by David Carlson? How do these two texts work together to add depth to your understand of the impact of war?
Dulce et Decorum Est
- Wilfred Owen
The horrors of chemical warfare during World War I are described in this gripping poem.Pair “Dulce et Decorum Est” and “For Many Returning Vets, ‘Moral Injury’ Just as Difficult” and ask students to identify similarities between the experience of soldiers during World War I and today. Ask students to discuss how war has changed since then, and how soldiers experiences during war have changed since then.
How Resilience Works
- Diane Coutu
In Diane Coutu’s “How Resilience Works,” Coutu discusses the three main traits of resilience and the role that resilience plays in success and survival.Pair “For Many Returning Vets, ‘Moral Injury’ Just as Difficult” with “How Resilience Works” and ask students to analyze how former Marine Captain Timothy Kudo exemplifies the qualities of resilience that Coutu describes. In this NPR interview, Kudo states, “And so you just keep pushing, and you try and make it the best for the rest of your life. And I think you also realize that despite what you’ve done, you’re more than your worst action.” Point students to Kudo’s perspective on moving on after killing enemies on the battlefield as an example of how, as Coutu puts it, “resilience is neither ethically good nor bad.” Ask students to discuss the experiences of returning veterans in the context of resilience.