Burdens In The Thing They Carried

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Burdens of a Soldier Soldiers are looked up to all around the world. They are heroes. They are role models. The things they do and go through are widely appreciated by all. In the story, “The Thing They Carried” the reader gets to look a little bit deeper into what an everyday soldier does. The narrator describes the things each soldier carries and how a soldier can be identified by these things. Each soldier carries a unique load. Soldiers carry pounds upon pounds of physical burdens that also happen to be precautionary necessities. They carry ammunition, weapons, rations, medical supplies, heavy uniforms, and personal items; but they do not only carry physical burdens. The soldiers carry intangible burdens such as love, the fear of dying, …show more content…

He, like many other soldiers, feared dying like so many had done before them. All soldiers had times of panic. The narrator said, “there were times of panic, when they squealed or wanted to squeal but couldn't, when they twitched and made moaning sounds and covered their heads and said Dear Jesus and flopped around on the earth... hoping not to die”(104). Soldiers do not always keep their cool. Nobody wants to die, and panic is a natural instinct when it comes to being shot at. Once we learn what fear is, it sticks with us for life, or in the narrator's words, “It was the burden of being alive” (104). Just like all the other intangible burdens, fear is inescapable and a part of being alive, of being human. “Imagination was a killer” (100) says Jimmy. For example, when one of his men had to go into a tunnel they just blew up and check it out. All of the other men would station themselves around the hole, “imagining cobwebs and ghosts, whatever was down there- the tunnel walls squeezing in-...” (100). Their minds were their own worst enemies. The soldiers would imagine their worst fears and end up scaring themselves over nothing. As for, “Ted Lavender, who was scared” (99), his fear cost him his life, but the fear of dying was not the heaviest burden these soldiers carried

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