This quote is from O’Brien the author himself admitting that he couldn’t be brave enough to leave his country and that he was embarrassed of what he was trying to do. So, he told himself that he would go to war, kill and maybe die because of the embarrassment idea he made. The idea of this quote is to explain what he feeling/confusion between what he’d do. Should he go to war? Or should he leave his loved ones and country behind.?
O’Brien describes his experience at the Tip Top Lodge as one that resolved an immense inner conflict he faced. When O’Brien received his draft card in the mail to fight in Vietnam, he immediately had to face the fact that he had been “drafted to fight a war that [he] hated” (O’Brien 38). In the face of danger and what he deemed as “moral confusion,” O’Brien suddenly decided that fleeing to Canada was the only way to avoid fighting in Vietnam. While driving north, O’Brien stopped at a fishing resort called the Tip Top Lodge and met Elroy Berdahl. While he refrained from asking obvious questions during O’Brien’s six-day-stay, Berdahl presumably understood O’Brien’s situation. On O’Brien’s last full day at the resort, Berdahl took him fishing
Prompt Question: Discuss the ideas developed by the text creator about the role adversity plays in shaping an individual’s identity.
Tim O’Brien’s uncommon ending sentence that have caught many people by surprise in the story, “Where have you gone, Charming Billy?” which was wrote as a historical fiction that revolves around the Vietnamese war. It leads you to O’Brien’s perspective on why war is bad. The story also shows how things are not okay, even after the war. O’Brien shows the realities of war through repetition of thoughts about fear, how soldiers deal with it, and the effect it has on their actions.
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.
Regret is a powerful emotion that has the ability to scar someone for the rest of their life. Moments of regret can come from relationships, self-made decisions and life changing events. The idea of regret also applies to “A Marker on the Side of the Boat” by Bao Ninh and “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien. Although these two literary pieces are very different in many ways, both authors describe the experience of the Vietnam War as a time of regretful decisions that negatively impacted people of both the American side and the Vietnamese side. Both authors tell a story about a character that recalls of flashbacks of the war, where they grieve over the past decisions that have affected them for the rest of their life.
“That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future ... Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story” (36). The Things They Carried is a captivating novel that gives an inside look at the life of a soldier in the Vietnam War through the personal stories of the author, Tim O’Brien . Having been in the middle of war, O’Brien has personal experiences to back up his opinion about the war. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien reveals his view on war through telling his readers how the Vietnam War had no point, was emotionally devastating, and displaying that there is no purpose in war unless the soldiers know what they are fighting for.
In the story he explains that he wants to go to Canada because he does not want to be killed in the war and Canada is the safe place. The author mentions how he thinks it is unfair that he has to go fight in a war that he disagrees with. The other option the author faces is to go fight the war in Vietnam. He is very afraid to disappoint his family and friends because it would be obvious if he ran away and he would never be able to go back. He saw himself as a coward because he was embarrassed. This is evident when Mr. O’Brien says, “I would go to the war – I would kill and maybe die – because I was embarrassed not to,” (pg. 57.) In the end the author realized what he must do and went back home, so he could fight in the Vietnam
In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, the author retells the chilling, and oftentimes gruesome, experiences of the Vietnam war. He utilizes many anecdotes and other rhetorical devices in his stories to paint the image of what war is really like to people who have never experienced it. In the short stories “Spin,” “The Man I Killed,” and “ ,” O’Brien gives reader the perfect understanding of the Vietnam by placing them directly into the war itself.
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.
In the short story, “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien, the author develops the idea that when an individual experiences a feeling of shame and humiliation, they often tend to neglect their desires and convictions to impress society. Tim, the narrator, starts off by describing his feeling of embarrassment, “I’ve had to live with it, feeling the shame”, before even elaborating on the cause of the feeling. Near the end of the story, he admits he does not run off and escape to Canada because it had nothing to do with his, “mortality...Embarrassment, that’s all it was”. The narrator experiences this feeling of intense shame and then he decides that he will be “a coward” and go to war. His personal desire is that he wishes to live a normal life and could never imagine himself charging at an enemy position nor ever taking aim at another human being. However, due to societal
Numerous scenes in the novel, The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, are riddled with violence. Those horrid scenes shape the themes of a heightened mental state and revenge. The actions of the Alpha Company are driven by emotion and stress. These issues create great problems for the Company, stripping them of their civilized societal standards and leaving only natural human instinct.
Tim O’Brien never lies. While we realise at the end of the book that Kiowa, Mitchell Sanders and Rat Kiley are all fictional characters, O’Brien is actually trying to tell us that there is a lot more truth hidden in these imagined characters than we think. This suggests that the experiences he went through were so traumatic, the only way to describe it was through the projection of fictional characters. O’Brien explores the relationship between war experiences and storytelling by blurring the lines between truth and fiction. While storytelling can change and shape a reader’s opinions and perspective, it might also be the closest in helping O’Brien cope with the complexity of war experiences, where the concepts like moral and immorality are being distorted. “How to Tell a True War Story” and “Ambush” are stories that both explore on topics: truth, the real definition of a true war story, and the role of truth.
In summation, Tim O’Brien exercises what courage truly means throughout his novel The Things They Carried. He seems to come to a consensus that there truly is no singular meaning to courage as each and every person can interpret it differently. Tim O’Brien’s does an astonishing job exhibiting to the reader what courage truly is and the innumerable ways in which it can be
Robert E. Lee once said, “What a cruel thing war is… to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors”. The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien takes place in Vietnam. He and a handful of other men experience things only one can image and hope they will never have to experience again. They learn how death among them can greatly affect them, and many others. War is not an easy task to get through and these men all had different coping methods. O’Briens intended audience is people who have an interest in war, and uses mortality and death, along with morality to help the audience get a deeper understanding of what could possibly occur at war.