Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Christopher Kocela

Second Advisor

Pearl McHaney

Third Advisor

Matthew Roudané


Despite the fact that many countries participated in the Vietnam War, their war stories tend to marginalize one another. In this study, I use a transnationalist critical lens to compare the ethnocentric stories of the U.S. and South Korea. Instead of presenting transnationalism as a focus on the changes that arise through travel between different cultures, I rely on another meaning of transnationalism as a form of consciousness. In order to compare differing perspectives on the Vietnam War as represented in the U.S. and South Korea, I compare Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods and Suk-Yong Hwang’s The Shadow of Arms, based on the writing style of the texts, the shared theme of friendly fire, and representation of the My Lai massacre. As a result, this comparison challenges readers in each nation to recognize perspectives on the Vietnam War which they may have missed.