Heroism In Tim O 'Brien's The Things They Carried'

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Things They Carried Analysis The Things They Carried is a novel by Tim O'Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War. He's written multiple war stories in his lifetime, although The Things They Carried is by far the best. The way the man writes, is unique in nature. The chapters, “Speaking of courage”, and “Notes” are very complex in meaning. The theme in these two short stories is heroism. “Speaking of Courage” encourages heroism, and valiant acts, because it leads to the aggressive fighting the U.S. soldiers display in the war; “Notes” on the other hand, also encourages heroism, but it does so through a sick and twisted manner, because if you do not act accordingly to heroism, there is no real reason to live, which in turn encourages suicide. In the chapter “Speaking of Courage” heroism is described as a necessity and even maybe as a way of life. Throughout the chapter the character Norman Bowker talks about how he had almost won the silver star of valor. He tells the reader how he had failed himself because he had not endured enough, and he had not been brave enough to continue to give an extra effort to earn that star. More importantly he was devastated with the fact that he had lost his friend Kiowa, and that he had died by his hand. The story tells us that…show more content…
Both these stories talk about courage and heroism as a necessity, multiple times. The way they celebrate heroism, makes me recall the story “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”; and how in Arthurian times it was better to die in battle then to survive as a coward. Both stories clearly share the same ideas when it comes to courage and heroism.Somehow I think that the ideology is related to the fact that both stories are about soldiers and that soldiers should always fight until their dying breath, because that's what it is to be a
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