Tim O’Brien, a Vietnam war veteran, is a famous author. One of his most famous books is “The things they carried.” Tim O’Brien has been able to achieve success in his writings due to his writings being based on actual events that happened while he served. Another reason his writings are so successful is how he immerses the reader into his stories using common military jargon, how he describes events and people within his stories. Due to him being in the military for a few years, Tim O’Brien has received a lot of influence for his writing, he has elements that make his writing unique, and how Tim O'Brien's stories have an overarching theme of death.
The major factor that influenced Tim O’Brien’s writing is the fact that he was in Vietnam. Referring …show more content…
In his book “The Thing They Carried” he shows not only the tangible objects they carry such as; canteen, ammo, rations, etc, but also the non tangible and psychological things that all soldiers carry. The major psychological issue that the soldiers carry on their shoulders is death. (An example is from one of his short stories, “How to tell a true war story,” a character named Rat Kiley loses his best friend Curt Lemon to an explosive trap. Rat Kiley carries the death of his best friend on his shoulders and even slaughters an innocent animal due to him not having control over himself. Another example, is from his story “the things they carried.” A Lieutenant, named Jimmy Cross: carries the death of a fellow soldier who was shot upon returning from the bathroom. At the time of the incident, Jimmy Cross was thinking of a girl named Martha wondering if she was truly a virgin. In the story Tim O’Brien shows how Cross deals with the death of Ted Lavender by stating, “He felt shame. He hated himself. He had loved martha more than his men… Lavender was now dead… this was something he would have to carry like a stone for the rest of the war.” As more soldiers die it becomes more “stones” that the soldiers must carry. ) Tim O’brien incorporates a theme of death, which is something that a lot of soldiers must carry with them. Whether its is the the fear of them dying or carrying the death of a fellow solider on their shoulders, the thought of death is something that is real and that Tim O’Brien wants to incorporate within his
In Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, O’Brien explains the weight of items as well as the psychological weight the men carried during the war. A few of the men had women back home that they held onto so that they had some kind of strive to make it back home alive. He examines how war changes the men psychologically by what is seen and done during war. O’Brien describes his experiences of death and fear that him and his friends faced during the Vietnam war.
During the War young men were taken away from fully experiencing their adolescence lives and were sent to fight in war. In the short story, “The things they carried” by Tim O’Brien, the narrator discusses his personal experience in the Vietnam War along with his fellow soldiers. He tells the story in an unusual way when he shares parts of his story from past and changes to present which allows the reader to feel the emotions and experience what each soldier went through and learn more about the characters personalities. O’ Brien uses an unusual narrative technique that allows the reader to visualize the experiences they went through such as death and guilt. Throughout the story we also learn more about the characters personalities and the importance
In war, soldiers and civilians will experience the loss of friends and families. In Tim O’Brien’s work, The Things They Carried, the reader is introduced to soldiers fighting in the Vietnam war who lose their comrades’ loves due to mishaps. These soldiers in combat, along with civilians, learn to accept or become numb towards death by understanding the situation they are in and by finding comfort in oblivion. Early in the plot, the reader is made aware of how the soldiers comprehend their allies’ deaths. According to the author, when Lieutenant Cross’ team was contemplating about who is to enter the tunnel, “Lee Strunk drew the number 17” then he laughed (O’Brien 10).
“They carried shameful memories” (O’Brien 109). In their heads were flashbacks of all the men they killed, the friends they lost, and the families they split up, everything they had ever seen while battling was forever implanted in their thoughts. To escape their memories of the war many soldiers committed suicide. Lieutenant Cross on the other hand carried a good memory, about Martha of course. Jimmy was a day dreamer, he fantasized about Martha, and she was all he could think about, she was an interference.
The Things They Carried Analysis More often than not, a reader picks up the story, “The Things They Carried,” and notices the unavoidable overload of symbolism intertwined. The heavy burdens the soldiers carry is portrayed extremely well by the author’s use of symbols, as it is one of the main focuses the author seeks to make evident to the reader. However, the author does not only want you to focus on the symbols of the burdens these fictional characters carry, but he wants you to understand what they really went through and that his story symbolizes the lives of these real, brave soldiers. “War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and
Tim O'Brien did a fantastic job when he wrote the book The Things They Carried. He was able to bring out his personal experiences from it. He was able to captivate the audience by both having the theme feel what he was feeling and also how he was able to express what was going on when it was going on. One of the most important parts was when he was explaining the feeling of the war on the men when one of their comrades was killed. He also does a great job when he shows death he is not only able to show the dark dirty gruesome parts of it but also the light clean beautiful parts of it.
Jimmy cross was the lieutenant of the Alpha Company, being fully responsible for all of the soldiers and getting them through the battles. However, he was battling through his own predicament, his undefying love for an American women named Martha. The constantly daydreaming leader had thought he had lost the respect of all of his soldiers when one of his own men was KIA because of his “love for Martha”. The soldier finally thought, “He would dispense with love; it was not now a factor” (O’Brien 250). After the death of his dear friend, Cross changed into a strict and orderly lieutenant.
O’Brien The novel/autobiography, If I Die in a Combat Zone (1973), recounts author Tim O’Brien’s experiences with life, love, and personal dissention during possibly one of the most horrific military conflicts in history: the Vietnam War. In If I Die in a Combat Zone, Tim O’Brien gives a terrifying first-person perspective of his disdain and opposition toward the Vietnam War through his recollection of his internal struggle of living life in mid war Vietnam, the violence and loss of humanity that soldiers, and the life-altering, irreversible damage that the author/narrator endured during the Vietnam War. Throughout his involvement/participation in the Vietnam war, O’Brien was having a hard time coping with the way he felt about why the war was even happening to
In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien expresses himself through fictionalized war stories as catharsis to comfort himself in the only way that he knows how. He tries to show the reader all of the pains of war that not only he felt, but his other young companions that fought alongside him in the brutal war. In the novel, O’Brien is a successful young man who is drafted into the Vietnam War to fight grudgingly for something he claims to be against. He recounts many of his experiences in stories based on true events but that are elaborated and fictionalized for the benefit of the reader’s understanding. This portrayal of the war in his words is a form of therapy for him that keeps him sane; even though the stories he tells are
The story describes the physical burdens the soldiers had to carry such as weaponry and rations, along with the emotional burdens such as love and loss (375-390). This story is significant because it gives readers an insight to the difficulties faced by soldiers that may not be recognized by many. The
After feeling personally responsible for the deaths of members of his brigade, Lt. Cross wishes to make up for his actions. In another instance, Jimmy Cross was obsessing over a girl back home and through his distraction, he caused a death of one of his soldiers. By becoming a minister, Lt. Cross is able to host events where he can help people and care for the sick rather than hurting others as he was forced to do in
Truth The main characters in The Things They Carried are soldiers, watching people die every day. To lessen their fear of death, they do not pay much respect to the dead and treat the corpses as if they are live people; they demonstrate that the soul lives on even when the body does not. One of the ways the soul lives is through stories. In Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, the final chapter, “The Lives of the Dead”, is essential because it is a perfect conclusion.
In Tim O’Brien’s novel, “The Things They Carried,” about the Vietnam war, courage is described as a necessity for all soldiers. He uses both him and his comrade’s circumstances to describe this. Throughout the novel the motif of courage evolves as characters serve in the Vietnam War. Being drafted into the Vietnam war forced O’Brien to become a soldier and participate in the war. His distaste for the war made it difficult for him to find the mental courage to fight in Vietnam which he thought was avoidable.
Literary analysis America’s war heroes all have the same stories to tell but different tales. Prescribed with the same coloring page to fill in, and use their methods and colors to bring the image to life. This is the writing style and tactic used by Tim O’Brien in his novel, “The Things They Carried”. Steven Kaplan’s short story criticism, The Undying Certainty of the Narrator in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, provides the audience with an understanding of O’Brien’s techniques used to share “true war” stories of the Vietnam War. Kaplan explains the multitude of stories shared in each of the individual characters, narration and concepts derived from their personal experiences while serving active combat duty during the Vietnam War,