How To Write A Literary Analysis Of The Things They Carried

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Victoria Perich 5 October 2015 Forms of Literature “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien’s short story, “The Things They Carried”, talks from a narrative point of view. The title of his story foreshadows the overall theme of an emotional versus physical burden throughout the soldiers experience in the Vietnam War. O’Brien talks about the various items the soldiers were carrying, along with their emotional baggage and the emotional toll the war was taking on them. Some of the baggage that is being lugged with them is composed of love, terror, grief and longing. The physical burden is carried with these soldiers daily. As stated in the beginning of the short story, “First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha,” this shows that soldiers sometimes carry something that is meaningful to them with them. But, things they carried were not always meaningful they also carried necessities for example mosquito repellant, and water. An additional type of physical burden, is finding out someone who you are friends with during this war got shot. For example when Ted Lavender died, Jimmy Cross burned two photos and the letter he always carried. He did this thinking that the burning of these photos would help the physical burden of having Lavender not physically there with him anymore. Each man’s physical burden…show more content…
Fear of shame not only motivates men to go to war but also affects soldiers’ relationships with each other once there. Concern about being accepted in the war, which might seem in the end an unimportant part given the chances of death and importance of staying together as a “team” during this time. The emotional burden was not just during the war it was also after the war that all these memories came back to them. When these memories come back it brings sadness to them thinking about all the people they lost through out their time
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