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Eric Vredenburgh English 3rd & 4th Block Ms.


Compare and Contrast Essay: Guests of a Nation vs. The Last Spin
The Last Spin and Guests of a Nation had a very moving message on how one can be torn between ones duty and ones loyalty. The way I look at it, its your duty to be loyal to yourself and your heart if you think what youre doing is right, then its right. Youre the only one who can tell right from wrong. You have to be true to yourself no matter what. Thats what it comes down to at the end of the day. In both stories they befriend their enemy but then are faced with a conflict of loyalty to their superiors and their moral duty as a person. In The Last Spin rival gang member are put against each other and themselves playing Russian roulette to settle a dispute easily and quietly so it wouldnt cause a war. They start out as hard thugs but throughout the ordeal they soften up and start to show their real colors, that they dont like some people in their crew. Then even find it stupid to fight and kill over colors and stupid quarrels. Finally releasing that they are so much alike and the enemy is now a friend. Thats when tragedy strikes, and their luck runs out, throughout the game Tigo and Danny have made it through every round, while adding a bullet to the chamber at the end of each round. The last round they had one in two chance, of there being bullets in the chamber. Right when Danny and Tigo plan to go on a double date Dannys luck runs out and he shoots himself. Now Tigo witnessing the lost of a brand new friend weeps for his friend who was once his enemy at the start of the game. The same thing happened for the narrator of Guests of a Nation. He lived with his captured enemy troops and guarded them. The narrator and his buddies played cards with POWs every night. They ate, talked and laughed together, they

Eric Vredenburgh English 3rd & 4th Block Ms.Marrow even argued about religion. They knew each other pretty well, they were chums. Thats until their superior walks in one day, and tells them they have to kill their prisoners, their chums. The next night they take their friends to a marsh where they have to execute them. Theyve lived with their captors for the last month and the whole way there Belcher and Hawkins pleaded and begged them not to do it, more Hawkins though Belcher was quiet. Hawkins went on about they are friends theyd even change sides and fight with them. They are friends and their loyalty is not to their army but to their friends, its their moral duty. The narrator and his buddy Noble knew theyre loyalty was to the IRA, but is it their duty to kill a friend for the sake of war? They had no time to think about it when Noble fired the first shot killing Hawkins. Then once they got to Belcher, the once quiet Belcher, was now talking this jaw off. He reassures them not to worry. After he got divorced everything went down hill and he was ready and willing to go. Killing them was the easy part, but now every time the narrator closed his eyes he saw Belcher and Hawkins dead laying there in the marsh, that sight is burned into his memory forever. In the Guests of a Nation they were in war and in war everybody dies and there are no rules you have to be cold to kill. In The Last Spin they were just teens in gangs fighting over a street turf but really they had a choice they didnt have to be in gang. The IRA are fighting for their freedom they, had no choice but to fight. It was more than just simple street gangs. The IRA was a nation uniting to become an independent nation. That is among many things I feel made it harder for the narrator and his friend in the Guests of a Nation is that they had to do it. On top of that, they lived with the Englishmen and played cards with them, they had some sort of bond. Unlike Tigo and Danny who had just met that night and started to get to know each other. They didnt have to continue, they could have

Eric Vredenburgh English 3rd & 4th Block Ms.Marrow stopped and walked away friends. They both had agreed on walking away. The situations where on two different levels but both had tragic results ending with a loss. Both stories convey the point of loyalty to ones superiors and the duties it entails. Do you follow his orders or do you follow your morals? A hard question to answer when the person you thought to be your enemy is turning out to be a nice guy and you have a lot in common. Hes still the enemy, if he gets a chance to hed take it and kill you, no questions asked. Its your duty in a war type situation to protect your comrades no matter what because they are doing the same for you. In war you cant trust anybody but yourself and your comrades. Its not a game its life or death situations on the battlefield. I feel like in both cases even though they had losses, the lives saved by those deaths were a lot greater. In Tigos case even though Danny died if he didnt do his duty, his gangs would have gone to war with each other causing more unnecessary bloodshed. It was theyre duty to end the dispute right then and there. Just like it was the narrator and Nobles duty to kill their POWs because their superiors said it went into a bigger scheme of things. War is a brutal cold thing and when in war you must adapt, be cold. Even then the things you did in war you cant escape as the narrator and Noble found out. In conclusion in war its your duty to follow orders, but if it goes against your morals question then try to find an alterative route. You have to be forever loyal to yourself its your duty.

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