Guilt In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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When most people think of war, they think of all the physical damages, terror, and destruction. Even though the physical damages and deaths are scary and can cause burdens, the emotional stance and psychological effects of war are the more devastating and destructive parts of war. Throughout the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien articulates how times of war brings out the powerful effects of shame, guilt, and fear on the human mind. The intangible negative emotions that every soldier carries may not have physical weight, but is a burden that every man possesses. Shame; the feeling of embarrassment, feeling as if other people are judging the actions one takes. Or just making the wrong choice. Shame had played a significant and devastating …show more content…

Survivor's guilt took play in Tim O'Brien and also many of his buddies. They had especially felt guilt for the men that they had killed. In the chapter “The Man I Killed”, Tim expresses his feelings of guilt for the man he had thrown a grenade at while he had exposed himself on the open trail. Tim O'Brien expressed how much the man that he had killed had to live for. In his head, he created a future for a man he did not even known. He had even made the reader feel sympathy and guilt for the dead man. The most prominent feeling of guilt for all the men had been after Kiowa’s death. Kiowa was a good man, and a good friend to everyone in his platoon, and he did not deserve to die the he did. One young soldier was so shaken by guilt, it had caused him to freeze and act completely different from then on. These feelings of guilt had weighed a lot, and also had took a toll on each solider. O’Brian had felt responsible for Kiowa’s death, and due to that, O'Brien had actually went back to Vietnam. Since Kiowa had been taken by the land, and Tim felt responsible for it, shame caused Tim to give the land Kiowa’s moccasins as a final goodbye. This novel really expresses how guilt can become a consistent thought and take effects on one’s

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