A Wounded Soul: The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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A Wounded Soul In the Vietnam War, soldiers did not only carry approximately eighty five pounds of equipment, but the emotional burdens of war itself. The Things they Carried by Tim O’Brien gives insight to how the Vietnam War affected the lives, and minds of the servicemen. O’Brien shows the impact by explaining different stories that have stuck with him throughout his life, and even though Vietnam is over, the battle of a veterans mental health is the strongest fight they will endure. In evaluating the soldiers’ mindset, relationships, and acceptance in society post war, this essay argues the consequences of veterans unable to find their life meaning and sanity. The Vietnam War called for the 1969 Draft Lottery due to a shortage of …show more content…

Many soldiers restrained from showing cowardice to be seen as “men”. War was not the time, nor the place to be scared. Many of those who served in the war did not want to be there, and many were put into a petrified mindset. “They used a hard vocabulary to contain the terrible softness. Greased they’d say…It wasn't cruelty, just stage presence. They were actors. When someone died, it wasn't quite dying, because in a curious was it seemed scripted…” (The Things they Carried, 19). This quote relates to a coping mechanism used in the war, the boys sent were unprepared for the sweat and blood, and many did not want to be killers. They had to dehumanize the victims by raping, kicking corpses, and cutting off limbs in order to eliminate them without feeling remorse. A Vietnams soldiers life depended on how well one could cope with situations. An example of this would be when Ted Lavender, an american solider in the narrators platoon, is killed. Jimmy Cross was another solider who becomes distracted by a photograph of his lover, Martha and ultimately is the reason of Cross’s death. This shows that Cross was not ready to cope with the surroundings of war and got distracted by a picture, leading to a …show more content…

You’re a shadow. You slip out of your own skin, like molting, shedding your own history and your own future, leaving everything behind everything you ever were or wanted or believed in. You know you’re about to die. And it’s not a movie and you aren’t the hero and all you want to do is whimper and wait” (The Ghost Soldiers, 200). The relationships of soldiers are somewhat depressing. They are forced into a platoon, with men they have never met, and told to trust them with their lives. This would be extremely scary for an eighteen year old who was drafted for the war. Together they understood the darkness and brutality of war, and not only did they physically depend on each other, but mentally depended on one another to ensure the mental health of their fellow soldiers. After the Vietnam War, the soldiers were mistreated by the public. Due to how the soldiers treated the vietcong during the war, a terrible light was put upon them. Most of the young adults returning from war were drafted and were just taking

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