In the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien expresses to the reader why the men went to the war and continued to fight it. In the first chapter, “The Things They Carried,” O’Brien states “It was not courage, exactly; the object was not valor. Rather they were too frightened to be cowards.” The soldiers went to war not because they were courageous and ready to fight, but because they felt the need to go. They were afraid and coped with their lack of courage by telling stories (to themselves or aloud) and applied humor to the situations they encountered.
There are just stories about Vietnam War, and each of them has an important theme and characters. The main characters are Tim O ' Brien, Iimmy Cross, Mitchell Sanders and Kiowa. Tim O’Brien is both the narrator and protagonist of “The Things They Carried”. As he goes into the war, he is scared and afraid of the embarrassment he could cause if he would suddenly leaves. He leaves the war full of guilt and decides to write stories about Vietnam to ease the painful memories of his past.
Bowker feels that he has lost a sense of purpose because of the war; he no longer has drive or ambition and this can be contributed to the horrific images and situations he experienced during the war. For O’ Brien, the war signified the death of his pride. He did not want to go to the war at first, but because of outside influences and the fear of possible consequences, he chose to go despite his beliefs. For these soldiers, death happens to more than just physical
Failure of US in this war was a big setback for the American hegemony. After that incident, USA never tried to use the forces in Southeast Asia. In case of North Korea also it is using diplomacy policy and trying to solve the issue with the help of dialogue because they are well aware that, military action may lead to Vietnam II. A lot of arguments surrounding the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War are relevant today in U.S. foreign policy and politics
The first reason I won’t re-enlist is the harsh weather. “Why are we sent here to starve and freeze?”(Waldo 151) I overheard Dr.Waldo say. The terribly cold weather is causing me to not want to re-enlist because I want to fight on the battlefield and not die from this terrible weather, and it's even colder because we don't have any shoes and very little clothing.
Accepting people for who they are might be difficult, but the least we could do is try to understand them. In the “Stop the Sun” by Gary Paulsen this is shown to us through the character of Terry Erickson. Terry is a thirteen year old boy whose father has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Terry 's father had fought in the Vietnam War and the PTSD he has causes him to have flashbacks of the war. Terry Struggles to find out the cause of his father’s disorder, therefore he is unable to accept him.
O’Brien was surrounded by the era of protest and arguments on the war. Faced with the moral decision of fight or flight, he opts for the former and chooses to stay and fight for his country. Shipped off to the battlefront in Vietnam, his life in combat is drowned in constant fear and anxiety. In fear of death, O’Brien and his fellow soldiers practice courage and bravery every day. They do this while watching American soldiers die in combat from bombs and landmines.
Tim also thought war was cruel and it should not be an option, but what about what everyone would think of him? He had to go to war because he could never Upset his family and country just like that. He thinks of himself as a coward because he went to war, against what he thought was morally right. Both options were very cowardly.
He reminisces about how he was almost dodged the draft and was “feeling the shame” of running ( O’Brien 37). Instead of feeling pride to serve his country, he is instead filled with dread and cowardice after seeing that he has gotten a draft letter, which in turn causes him to drive to Canada, but stops in a nearby lodge. Here he meets Elroy, owner of the lodge and archetypal mentor. Tim has the moral dilemma of how “intellect” (49) had came “against emotion” (49). This shows moral ambiguity for Tim because intellect coming up against emotion means that he had his heart versus his mind, an internal battle with himself to do what is right or what feels
when a nation was justified in using military force to achieve its ends... and that in such circumstances [he] would’ve willingly marched off to the battle.” (O’Brien, 44) but clarifies that this is not the war Tim would willingly sacrifice everything for, “At the very center, was the raw fact of terror. I did not want to die. Not ever. But certainly not in the wrong war.”
His avoidance isn’t of the future, but of the present. Nick avoids going to the swamp to fish and the story repeats: “Nick did not want to go in there now… Nick did not want it.” His lack of interest of confronting the swamp reflects his lack of interest of confronting his feelings of the war. The effect of the war is shown in the setting where burnt nothingness is what’s left of the town Seney.
At this point in the book O’Brien has decided he is going to the war. Not really for himself but for the people in his town. He doesn’t want the embarrassment of not going, he doesn 't want people looking down on him. He ultimately does it for everybody but himself. It comes from the story “On the rainy river”.
I personally do not support the Vietnam War, and I think we shouldn’t have gotten involved in Vietnam’s civil war; even if the U.S.S.R was supporting them. I also believe i couldn’t handle the stress of being in battle, if I did accept the draft. Which leads me to my next question, of what would I carry? Among the things I would carry, apart from the
In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien highlights his conflict between escaping to Canada or staying to fight through the contrast of his initial and latter beliefs to demonstrate how society can keep people from staying with their individual convictions. For O’Brien, it is far more important to live by his principles than to follow his duty to his family and the law. He says that he wants to “choose a life for myself” (53), speaking to his desire to run off to Canada. O’Brien initially thought that “life” means to be free from the draft and to survive. However, when his wishes conflict with what society expects, for him to be brave and sacrifice for his country, he vacillates between continuing onto shore or staying to fight.