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.
In Cormac Mccarthy’s The Road, the boy and the man are always aware of the fact that they could die at any time. Throughout the majority of the book, the man’s overarching goal is to make sure that if when he dies, the boy will have the tools to survive on his own, However, in the beginning of the book, the man’s views on death are very different. He originally believes that neither one of them would be able to survive without the other, stating that if the boy died he “would want die too” and asking himself if he can kill [the boy] when the time comes for his own death (11, 29). Similarly, the boy has an uncharacteristic view of death for a young child, stating that he wishes he “was with [his] mom”, who viewed death as a “lover”, and has
Over all, this story allows us to observe changes within the mentalities of army officers. First, the trauma of living in a war zone can add a significant amount of intangible weight into someone’s life. In “The Things They Carried,” we discover that Cross’s men “carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die (443).” Given that the majority of humans have experienced some form of trauma, we can understand how some men were driven to suicide and others into
1.Guilt is one of the worst things accompanied by death. Guilt plays a huge role throughout the novel. In war, men are constantly dying and these men all become best friends with one another. For example, Norman Bowker felt a tremendous amount of quilt towards the death of Kiowa.
During the Vietnam war soldiers took many sacrifices, including leaving their families and being outkast’s in society. But during the war they made really good friendships. The Vietnam war made people lose their lives, friends, and families. Many people didn 't support the war so they protested, and when the soldiers came back from war they were treated like outcasts. In the novel “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, the book shows the themes friendship and sacrifice through key details like when someone dies they still remain friends even though they had a sacrifice.
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.
Why did they rejoice when an ‘enemy’ was met with it? Why were they wanting it for themselves? Even my own mother would rather him die than have her son save a life; I simply couldn’t comprehend it. As soon I managed to wriggle my arm free from her grasp I was off again bolting towards the site of the crash. I wasn’t thinking of how I was to save him, I just knew I had to try my absolute best.
In “The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt” by Nancy Sherman, one has done no wrong, but still has guilt, even in situations that are unexpected, as this happens way too much, and that those who have done wrongdoing should be feeling guilty. She states, “We often take responsibility in a way that goes beyond what we can reasonably be held responsible for. And we feel the guilt that comes with that sense of responsibility. Nietzsche is the modern philosopher who well understood this phenomenon: “Das schlechte Gewissen,” (literally, “bad conscience”)-his term for the consciousness of guilt where one has done no wrong, doesn’t grow in the soil where we would most expect it, he argued, such as in prisons where there are actually “guilty” parties who should feel remorse for wrongdoing”(Sherman 154). Illustrating, this proves that we take the responsibility for actions that we did not do, and should not feel any remorse, but that the people who have done wrongdoing, should have this feeling of guilt.
“Silent Scream” In war conditions, sometimes soldiers are forced to do what they don’t want to do. This action, sometimes makes them feel guilty even if they weren’t. In the novel, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, the author emphasizes that the things soldiers carry in war, the people they killed, the soldier’s feelings, psychology, and the moral of what they have done cannot be all of the soldier’s responsibilities. Soldiers fear that they would be excluded from the society, and they’d be accused from all the wildness of the war because of what they have done.
Ambiguity Lingers On Edith Wharton, who is an American author, states “The novelist must rely on what maybe called the illuminating incident to reveal and emphasize the inner meaning of each situation” (Wharton). Tim O’Brien uses illuminating moments to show how war makes guilt ambiguous. By examining three specific moments, the reader discovers how difficult it is to deal with the ambiguities of guilt. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross suffers from the ambiguity of guilt about Ted Lavender’s death.
Challenges at War 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’Brien’s intended audience was young people who were not educated about the war and he discussed the themes shame/guilt and mortality/death. The chapter “The Things They Carried” gives an introduction about the men in the group, it also shows shame/guilt. The chapter talks about the equipment each soldier carried and how it affected them. During this chapter it focuses primarily on LT.
One reason that survivors should not feel survivor's guilt, is because they did not do anything. In the book “The Seventh Man” by Haruki Murakami it shows what survivor's guilt is. In the the text it claims “we often take responsibility in a way that goes beyond what we can responsibly be held responsible for,” (140-141). This shows that you cared, it shows what happened matters to you. That proves that you shouldn’t feel guilty since you didn't do it and should not feel responsible for the action
Soldiers were not viewed as brave men risking their lives, and the war was seen as an unnecessary event. This type of mentality is seen in the novel with the perceptions of the soldiers. The narrator expresses the view of the time period when he states, “They were soldiers’ coats. Billy was the only one who had a coat from a dead civilian” (82). The meaning behind this is very crucial because it establishes a definite division between soldiers and civilians.
He doesn’t feel guilty about killing people who trust him anymore. This is not at all like how he felt in the beginning of the play, in act one when he is considering Duncans murder he hesitates and says to himself "But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases We still have judgment here, that we but teach Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return To plague th' inventor: this even-handed justice Commends