During World War II Winston Churchill once said “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” The soldiers in World War II suffered many psychological and physical tolls during the war and even after the war ended. When Winston sent his troops he offered their blood, sweat and tears of the men. Sometimes the memories never leave. Tim O’Brien’s book The Things They Carried shows many physical and psychological effects that soldiers went through during the Vietnam War. The soldiers in World War II went through physical and mental situations regarding war, and the things they saw were very similar to the experiences depicted in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. Ted Dzeipak, a soldier during World War II, went through many …show more content…
While the soldiers were in basic training the majority of the soldiers went through a process called “emotional numbing” which helped the men learn to suppress the feelings they generate. The men lived in fear, which is the most common emotion associated with war. While the soldiers were fighting they were surrounded by death and fear because leaves knowing that they could die or their friends could die at any second really took a toll on them. War just didn’t end when they physically left, war never the mind of the men. When the soldiers returned home many suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it or witnessing it. Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include recurring memories or nightmares of the event(s), sleeplessness, loss of interest, or feeling numb, anger, and irritability, but there are many ways PTSD can impact your everyday life. Sometimes these symptoms don’t surface for months or years after the event or returning from deployment. They may also come and go, which makes it really hard for the soldiers to adjust mentally. This Disorder made it hard for many soldiers to find work and be able to just live a normal daily …show more content…
Every day and night they we’re getting shot and bombed at, sometimes not even knowing where it was coming from. The soldiers could never let their guard down or get distracted because in a second your life or someone else’s could be gone just like that. Hugh Gorman, a soldier in World War II suffered a horrendous injury his 12th day at combat. While Gorman was on his stomach using a Browning automatic rifle he was shot in right side of his head. "I felt a sharp thud to the right side of my head and I thought that my gun had accidentally fired and the butt had hit me in the jaw. I put my hand up to my face and I could touch my teeth. The right side of my cheek was hanging down on my neck. My shoulder and chest felt real warm from the blood.” It took Gorman 14 surgeries and 2 years at the hospital to get his jaw to properly work again. Despite the injury he continued to stay positive because that’s what kept him alive. As Gorman said, "I learned to have a lot of consideration for other people, and learned it was important to survive as best you could under tough circumstances. “I feel like I did my part," Gorman said. "I went through a lot that a lot of guys didn't go through, with the serious injury. But I have no regrets. Many people who were injured ended up physically and mentally scarred for
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In Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, O’Brien explains the weight of items as well as the psychological weight the men carried during the war. A few of the men had women back home that they held onto so that they had some kind of strive to make it back home alive. He examines how war changes the men psychologically by what is seen and done during war. O’Brien describes his experiences of death and fear that him and his friends faced during the Vietnam war.
In “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brian, the author discusses distinct items the soldiers carry with them during the Vietnam war. He explores weapons and equipment, but also talks about emotions and feelings the men frequently are approached by. The title of the novel is used to highlight the heavy emotional burden the soldiers had to carry during and after the war. In many cases, a soldier felt responsible for the death of one of his closest comrades.
The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brien, focuses on the author’s experiences in the Vietnam war. This book confronts the truth about death and the wave of agony that hits after the fact. The story highlights the ways that Tim and his fellow soldiers find ways to cope with the immense amount of pain that comes with war. Throughout the book, Tim O’Brien explores the power of storytelling and how it allows those who are physically dead to remain alive in the memories of other. There are many ways in which O’Brien has found storytelling to help him confront the death that he has faced.
O’Brien then adds, “the way your eyes focus on a tiny white pebble or a blade of grass and how you start thinking, Oh man, that’s the last thing I’ll ever see, that pebble, that blade of grass, which makes you want to cry” (182). This statement encompasses the ultimate reality of facing death on the battlefield. People might even ask themselves what sort of heroic death they are departing with, and whether they are truly proud of their sacrifice in that moment of departure. The truth is, soldiers are not thinking about their country when they’re being shot at, they’re thinking about everybody they know, especially themselves and their fellow infantry mates fighting viciously beside them; and that is the main idea that O’Brien cleverly articulates as the tone of all the firefights they encounter in the
In the 1990 book “The Things They Carried” By Tim O’Brien gives both the victims and survivors of the Vietnam war a voice. The soldiers, alive and dead, experienced horrific events too terrible to speak of. No one could express their emotions, causing many mental illnesses such as PTSD. How could they express how they felt if they couldn’t speak of the horrors that occurred? Tim O’Brien gave them a voice.
In the novel “The Things They Carried” author and also ex-veteran Tim O’brien writes a collection of linked short stories about a platoon of American soldiers fighting during the vietnam war. The Vietnam war was a long, unpopular and costly war and once U.S citizens began to see the harsh realities of the war their support for it quickly diminished. Approximately 20 years after the war had started, due to the fear of communism spreading, it finally came to an end leaving at least 58,000 American soldiers, out of 3 million casualties, dead and the remaining scarred for life with emotional and physical burdens. Throughout each short story we learn the significance in which the the title of the novel holds, it expresses that the soldiers not
Traumatic events have become business, not real cause for concern. In the article “The Things They Carried”, Richard Ford explains that “the possibility of death without warning strips the innocence from even the most idealistic and romantic of the men” (Ford 2). Ford backs up the evidence in the story, the young soldiers who still retain their childish imagination and dreams become exposed to the most harsh realities of war. They can’t cope and retain their innocence, instead becoming shells of their old selves. The soldier's loss of innocence and compassion is best shown through Ted Lavender’s
The soldiers of the Vietnam War were mostly innocent young men that were forced to face overwhelming emotional distress like the fear of their own deaths, guilt associated with taking the life of another soldier, and sorrow after witnessing their fellow comrades’ deaths. In The Things They Carried, author, Tim O’Brien, uses fictional stories to display the immense emotional burdens that the soldier Tim and his fellow members of Alpha Company experienced before, during, and after their unforgettably haunting time in Vietnam, and how each handled this “baggage” they carried. O’Brien’s sympathy belongs to the soldiers in the novel, knowing full and well that none of them belonged in the middle of the unjust war. Whether it was by the use of
The other way soldiers were affected was through psychological trauma which can be seen on page 130 when O’Brian writes, “"He was slim, dead, almost dainty young man of about twenty. He lay with one leg bent beneath him, his jaw in his throat, his face neither expressive nor inexpressive. One eye was shot. The other was a star-shaped hole. "(130)
Interpreting the emotional effects and impacts of war on soldiers can be quite difficult. What most people do not understand is that post-traumatic stress disorder or commonly referred to as PTSD, is something that is lifelong and troublesome to treat. It was due to the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War, that this disorder was discovered. The National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study (NVVRS) approximates that 236,000 veterans currently have PTSD from the Vietnam War, an enormous long-term emotional and human cost of war (Vermetten). Tim O’Brien captures an astonishing painful and powerful realism through the emotions that the soldiers experience in “The Things They Carried”.
PTSD Affecting Soldiers He stood there, frozen, shocked, not knowing what to do when he saw a gun pointed at him. Thankfully, the trigger didn’t work, but he had to witness a scarring event, in which he had shot his enemy in the head. It is not surprising that soldiers returning from a stressful war often suffer from a psychological condition called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. For instance, in the book Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, the principle character Perry unmistakably demonstrates how war troopers can be damaged and experience the ill effects of PTSD.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in The Things They Carried During the turbulent times of the Vietnam War, thousands of young men entered the warzone and came face-to-face with unimaginable scenes of death, destruction, and turmoil. While some perished in the dense Asian jungles, others returned to American soil and were forced to confront their lingering combat trauma. Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried provides distinct instances of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and reveals the psychological trauma felt by soldiers in the Vietnam War. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD for short, is the most common mental illness affecting soldiers both on and off the battlefield.
“It was very sad, he thought… The things men did or felt they had to do” (O’Brien 480). In “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien (a Vietnam War veteran) details the experience of soldiers during the Vietnam War. As implied in the title, the story describes the many things soldiers carried physically. In addition, O’Brien shares the many thoughts and burdens the soldiers carried mentally during their time on the battlefield in Vietnam.
The True Weight of War “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, brings to light the psychological impact of what soldiers go through during times of war. We learn that the effects of traumatic events weigh heavier on the minds of men than all of the provisions and equipment they shouldered. Wartime truly tests the human body and and mind, to the point where some men return home completely destroyed. Some soldiers have been driven to the point of mentally altering reality in order to survive day to day. An indefinite number of men became numb to the deaths of their comrades, and yet secretly desired to die and bring a conclusion to their misery.
During the Vietnam War the soldiers, whether or not they wanted to be there, many of them developed mental illnesses. The things they would experience would cause burdens on them for the rest of their lives. “Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers until he was shot in the head outside the village of Than Khe in mid-April.” (The Things They Carried) Lavender carried tranquilizers until he died, because he was scared.