PTSD In The Things They Carried

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PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a condition that commonly appears in people who have experienced a traumatic disaster or event. The event can vary between many things such as war, abuse, assault or another traumatizing event. The disorder can arise from either witnessing the tragic event or experiencing the tragic event. In this case specifically the story The Things they carried by Tim O’Brien shows the PTSD that soldiers from the vietnam war are experiencing. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien presents PTSD through both the context of the story as well as the form of the text. TIm O’Brien used different writing techniques such as characterization, survivor's guilt and repetition to show the PTSD in these characters. He showed …show more content…

The first way that repetition was used in this story is when the narrator describes everything that the soldiers are carrying with them. A word that is continuously repeated in this part of the story is the word “carried” or “carries”. This word was used to show the reader how much the soldiers really had to bear, physically and mentally, “Lee Strunk carried a slingshot; a weapon of last resort, he called it. Mitchell Sanders carried brass knuckles. Kiowa carried his grandfather's feathered hatchet. Every third or fourth man carried a claymore anti personnel mine — 3.5 pounds with its firing device. … They carried all they could bear, and then some, including awe for the terrible power of all the things they carried”(Pg.7). The text repeats the word “carried” or “carries” over and over to describe what each person had with them to show the amount of things that the soldiers had to carry. By using this word over and over, it gives off the effect that the soldiers constantly had things they had to bear whether it was the physical weight of extra ammo or a hatchet or something more mentally weighing such as the loss of a close friend or the stress of going into war. Another time that repetition was used in this story was in the chapter "The Man I Killed. The narrator talks about how he couldn’t take his eyes off of the dead man in front of him, the man he killed, he described the body …show more content…

The story shows how the traumatic events that these characters went through affected their lives and it shows the importance of knowing about this disorder. PTSD is presented through the use of characterization, survivors’ guilt and repetition to show it in the context of the story as well as the form of text. Characters are shown to be experiencing the symptoms of PTSD during their time out at war to demonstrate to the reader how this disorder can affect the lives of different people and in different situations. Characters are shown to also experience survivor's guilt, another symptom of PTSD but one that usually causes the disorder or causes other symptoms to appear such as flashbacks and intrusive thoughts or memories. Finally the repetition used in this story shows the pain of not being able to look away from the person that they had just killed or to give off the effect of the amount of weight these soldiers had to bear, physically and mentally. Overall The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien uses different writing techniques to present PTSD through the context of the story and the form of

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