Disconnection In The Things They Carried

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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. Four specific stories where disconnection shows through the most are in: “How to Tell a True War Story”, “Sweetheart
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Bowker cannot keep a job, and he feels as though he has no purpose anymore. He is just there in life, with no purpose or drive to want to do anything anymore. He spends his days driving around the lake that reminds him of the sewage plant where Kiowa had died; reminiscing on all of his mistakes and how he should have been braver and saved his friend. His guilt makes him want to get a second chance to show his bravery. This is a memory that will follow him throughout the rest of his life and he will keep reliving it: “Clockwise, as if in orbit, he took the chevy on another seven mile turn around the lake … Already he had passed them six times, forty-two miles, nearly three hours without stopping” (O’Brien 139-140). As if Norman was stuck in a loop, he drove around that lake, reliving moments of his life from when he was in Vietnam. He questioned, doubted, and second guessed things that had happened. He wants to tell his story to his friends but they all moved on with their lives while he was in Vietnam in the war, leaving him with no one. He wanted to talk to someone but he couldn’t. His mind was still in Vietnam (O’Brien
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