Doing The Right Thing In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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Have you ever felt ashamed of doing the right thing? In The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, narrator Tim O’Brien battles the differences of doing the right thing because he wants to do it or because he was a coward. O’Brien’s shame and guilt associated with the vietnam war influenced his decision to fight or flight. Tim O’Brien was drafted to fight in a war he doesn’t believe in. His principles were telling him to run away from the war, but he was too ashamed not to fight. Being a soldier was well respected in his conservative hometown, and not fighting would cause disgrace to fall upon his family. Despite his morals being against it, O’Brien decided to go war and fight, “I survived,” he explained, “but it’s not a happy ending. I was a coward. I went to the war” (O’Brien 79). Although O’Brien was against fighting in the war, he still fought because he was ashamed and afraid that he would be scorned if he did not. In the end, Tim O’Brien lets his shame win over his morals,because he believed the strongest thing would have been to run away, but instead he chose the weaker option. …show more content…

In order to prove his bravery to himself and his comrades because “the embarrassment must’ve turned a screw in his head” (O’Brien 84) Lemon goes to the dentist’s tent in the middle of the night and orders that he pull out a healthy tooth. Curt Lemon did not need to pull out a healthy tooth, but because he was ashamed of what his comrades thought of him previously fainting at the dentist, he believed he needed to redeem himself. By eliminating his fear, Lemon proves to himself and others that pride overcomes

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