War is one of the most complex yet completely understood subjects to read or write about. Tim O’Brien has captured the true essence of being drafted into a war. “The Things They Carried” is a novel composed of multiple short stories; Each taking the reader through the perspective of the narrator showing his multiple landscapes, situations, and changing feelings from being drafted into the Vietnam War to surviving it. These stories really help one understand the effects of war on someone’s mind as well as body. Tim O’Brien is the main character and protagonist in this novel.
In Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, O’Brien is the narrator recounting his experiences as a Vietnam War veteran through the form of storytelling. After death, people and experiences fade away and are often forgotten, and the only way to keep their lives remembered is to continue to tell them through story. There were many traumatic events that O’Brien had to deal with, namely the deaths of soldiers, the vietnamese soldier he killed, and the death of his childhood friend Linda. Many of the surviving soldiers developed PTSD and had flashbacks, while O’Brien held them in and blocked away the memories, as a form of catharsis. Storytelling becomes his form of therapy, and method of preserving the lives of the deceased.
In “The Things They Carried,” O’Brien demonstrates the life of a solider during the Vietnam War. O’Brien describes what the soldiers went through physically and mentally before, during, and after the war. He also describes how the soldiers had to adapt to war at a young age and sometimes the things they did were deranged but nothing was normal about war. Also after going to war and coming home, these soldiers struggle with how to deal with what they went through. This is also demonstrated through the book and one can see this through the author.
In “The Things They Carried”, by Tim O’Brien, There are many ideas and desires running through the head of every soldier in Vietnam. It is a challenging war to fight, and also a very hard one to come home from as it was an incredibly unpopular war. Many soldiers faced conflicting desires on the battlefield, but the most interesting example of conflicting desires was Mary Anne Bell. She was the elementary school girlfriend of the young medic Mark Fossie, who was staying at a base in the mountains of Chu Lai. Many soldiers at the base always joked about it being so safe, and with so few officials, that someone could actually fly their girlfriend in and they would both be fine.
Prewriting: Introduction: Often revered as a battle to defend Vietnamese ideologies, the Vietnam War is personified by many as a horrendous, unnecessary war that yielded to many detrimental after-effects, specifically on soldiers. In O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, initially it seems to take the same old generic personification, but after further reading, it is evident that Tim O’Brien’s desire to take on a different representation. Rather than taking on the violent, bloody interpretation of war, O’Brien focuses more on the relationships developed between the soldier and the severities experienced whilst in war. Throughout the novel, the themes of shame and guilt are manifested through the post war stories of the veterans, demonstrating that no soldier is able to escape this perpetual chasm of culpability.
Tim O’Brien’s definition of a true war story is not at all about war but the embarrassment, love, memory and sorrow. In the novel, The Things They Carried, a series of war stories about the Vietnam War, the author Tim O’Brien supplies a definition of a true war story. He states, “This is one story I’ve never told before. Not to anyone. Not my parents, not my brother or sister, not even to my wife.
Novelist, Tim O’Brien writes short semi true stories about his and other’s experiences in the Vietnam war. O’Brien wanted to explain to his audience what happens in war and how it effects people after the fact. O’Brien really helps his audience acknowledge how much war really does change people. Tim’s dynamic use of symbolism, imagery, and figurative language emphasizes the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that people experience during and after the war. O’Brien begins by analyzing the thoughts of sorrow and loss overwhelm the Vietnam veterans upon their return back home.
Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried, is not a casual story based on war, but divided stories that paint a picture of veterans and what they were developing during and after the war. O’Brien brings up hard hitting points in each book that affects a reader in so many ways. O’Brien uses his novel with symbolisms to deeply understand characters, types of grieving each character is affiliated with, and more so what these characters carry emotionally, mentally, and figuratively throughout the book, nevertheless, making these characters relatable with actual people. O’Brien’s characters are all different, Jimmy Cross was a lieutenant who’s in love and is not desired to lead his men to fight for their own freedom and stop war. Azar is a disrespectful,
Readers, especially those reading historical fiction, always crave to find believable stories and realistic characters. Tim O’Brien gives them this in “The Things They Carried.” Like war, people and their stories are often complex. This novel is a collection stories that include these complex characters and their in depth stories, both of which are essential when telling stories of the Vietnam War. Using techniques common to postmodern writers, literary techniques, and a collection of emotional truths, O’Brien helps readers understand a wide perspective from the war, which ultimately makes the fictional stories he tells more believable.
For many soldiers returning home from war, the truth about what happened can be a hard and confusing thing. The book The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brien, and published in 1990, describes his time in the war. O’Brien struggles the whole time with differentiating his emotional memories with events that actually happened, and tries to impress upon the reader what it was actually like to be over in Vietnam. O’brien believes that war stories do not always accurately portray what war was like, and that is why story-truth can be truer than the happening-truth.
Plato once said, “ Only the dead have seen the end of the war”. Tim O’Brien is the protagonist of the novel The Things They Carry. He describes the events that occurred in the middle of his Vietnam experience. The book was written to share his memories and O'Brien's own stories. In those stories we discover characters like Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, Kiowa,Dave Jensen and many others whom he served with in the war.
The Disconnected Soldiers In “The Things They Carried,” written by Tim O’Brien, he creates images in the audience 's mind about what veterans truly experience before, during, and after the Vietnam war. Soldiers always have the strange feeling of disconnection but O’Brien brings this to the attention of people throughout his book. On the surface, the book appears to be a simple war novel, but beneath the surface it opens up into all of the struggles that war veterans face such as the disconnection from society. Disconnection occurs as a main theme in the novel and he presents this through multiple stories from different characters.
The Things They Carried “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien is a short story set during the Vietnam War. In the story, O’Brien lists many different items soldiers in the Alpha Company carried with them as they humped across the rugged terrain. Many carried necessities such as rations, matches, ammunition and things of that nature; however, many soldiers also carried quite peculiar objects such as condoms, pantyhose, and M&Ms. Readers can grasp a closer insight of the characters’ lives after further examination of the symbolism and meaning of the things they carried.
Even after all these years, O’Brien is still unable to get the images of Vietnam out of him head, specifically of the man he killed. In the novel, he repeats the description of the man numerous times, almost to the point of excess, saying,“he was a 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 shut. The other was a star-shaped hole” (124).
He fought a war in Vietnam that he knew nothing about, all he knew was that, “Certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons” (38). He realized that he put his life on the line for a war that is surrounded in controversy and questions. Through reading The Things They Carried, it was easy to feel connected to the characters; to feel their sorrow, confusion, and pain. O’Briens ability to make his readers feel as though they are actually there in the war zones with him is a unique ability that not every author possess.