Guilt In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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Guilt and shame can change a man for either good or bad. Guild and shame was a very repetitive through the soldiers' journey. It was a downright impact on their personalities, actions, and future. The war can do many things to one. In the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien concentrates on how shame and guilt that was created by the Vietnam War, affected the soldiers’ lives and, was stuck with them endlessly. The soldiers were shattered and traumatized by the death of their fellow brothers. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross blamed himself for the death of Ted Lavender. He might still blame himself until this day. Tim O'Brien mentions how Jimmy Cross lamented and wept, and he said, "He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a…show more content…
The soldiers felt guilty and ashamed after each and every death that took place in Vietnam and it was hard for them to cope with reality. Norman Bowker blamed himself for the death of Kiowa even through Kiowa was already dead when Bowker was trying to save him. Tim O'Brien stated, ""The truth" Norman Bowker would've said, "is i let the guy go"" (O'Brien 127). At other points, they all blamed themselves for the death of Kiowa. Even Azar, the soldiers who killed a puppy, took the blame. When all of them started blaming others or themselves for Kiowa's death, Norman Bowker said, "[…] I felt sort of guilty almost, like if I'd kept my mouth shut none of it would've ever happened. Like it was my fault." […] "Nobody's fault," [Bowker] said. "Everybody's" (O'Brien 105) Some of them blamed Jimmy Cross for stationing them in such a treacherous setting. Mitchel Sanders blamed Jimmy Cross for the death of Kiowa, he said "Ten billion places he could've set up last night, the man picks a latrine" (O'Brien 28). No one knew who should take the blame for the deaths of soldiers, so they blamed themselves and

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