Mental Cost Of War In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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The Mental Cost of War
The book by Tim O’Brien The Things They Carried is about the Vietnam War. He was a young boy only nineteen in 1969. He explained what he remembered of the Vietnam War. It could be bearable at times while other times it was grueling and scary, making the mental cost of war difficult.
Mary Anne Bell was a young girl who was brought to Vietnam by her boyfriend Mark. She was known to be, “coy and flirtatious” (O’Brien 91). She was always curious, asking lots of questions about things. She started to get more distant from Mark. She ended up going with the Green Berets on an ambush, “Just after sunrise she came trooping in through the wire, tired-looking but cheerful as she dropped her gear” (98). She was becoming more and more like a Green Beret getting farther and farther from her boyfriend, “It was nearly three weeks before she returned. But in a sense she never returned. Not entirely, not all of her” (100) and; “There was no emotion in her stare, no sense of the person behind it” (105). After awhile she was becoming more risky doing things the Green Berets would not do, “ When they were taken under fire, Mary Anne would stand quietly and watch the tracer rounds snap by, a little smile at her lips” …show more content…

He was brave, “Every so often, maybe four times altogether, he trotted back to check me out. Which took courage. It was a wild fight, guys running and laying down fire and regrouping and running again, lots of noise, but Ray Kiley took the risks” (O’Brien 180). When the Viet Cong was thought to be nearby in a large group they were ordered to move at night as a precaution. It took its mental toll of the fear at night on Rat Kiley, “Rat Kiley finally hit a wall. He couldn’t sleep during the hot daylight hours; he couldn’t cope with the nights” (210-211) and then, “The next morning he shot himself. He took off his boots and socks, laid out his medical kit, doped himself, and put a round through his foot”

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