Are The Burdens In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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Throughout life we experience hardships, and we use these past experiences to help us make future decisions that overall grow as human beings. In Tim O ‘ Brien’s novel “The Things They Carried,” the characters not only carry physical baggage but emotional ones as well. They are forced to feel the effects of war such as guilt, burdens, and other factors that come with being a soldier. Soldiers going into the war often went in with immense pride that they were serving their country however in doing this they didn’t know they would lose their innocence and see the world in a new perspective when they returned. “My hometown was a conservative little spot on the prairie, a place where tradition counted” (O’Brien 38) shows where O’Brien lived in a place where things like the draft were taken very seriously. If you were selected people like the ones in O’Brien community would see this as a duty, and if you didn’t do this, you were a coward and would be disowned by everyone you knew. But those …show more content…

“Four guys go down a trail. A grenade sails out. One guy jumps out and takes the blast and saves his three buddies” displays courage among that person. This individual was obviously smart and thought if he sacrificed himself then his friend would be safe, and that is what makes him a hero (O’Brien 62). But when O’Brien says “Eight months later Bower hanged himself…Bower did not have a lapse of courage that was responsible for Kiowa’s death” it illustrates the effect someone would have if they knew their friend died for them (O’Brien 112). Knowing your friend sacrificed their life for you would be a burden that followed you your whole life and unfortunately, some aren’t strong enough to live with that, and they end their

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