The jungle itself seems to symbolize the effects of the war. The events that take place in it cause the soldiers to become paranoid, crazy, and even dangerous. Even once they return to their once stable home of the US, they are completely changed. The setting is very important to the book, because it creates an eerie and scary atmosphere in the story, that the author uses to show how the war truly affected the soldiers fighting in it. Overall, the setting of the story is complex, because it varies through the chapters. O’Brien uses the frightening Vietnam setting to illustrate how it affected soldiers fighting in it and also how horrifying the setting of it was. He also used the setting of the US to illustrate what kinds of lives the characters …show more content…
The characters throughout the book’s entirety speak in a very informal manner with bad grammar. Through O’Brien’s word choice the reader is able to make the conclusion that these soldiers were not educated scholars, but instead kids. It also creates a more conversational, rather than scholarly story. For example, when talking about Mary Anne, Eddie Diamond says that she had “D-cup guts, trainer-bra brains.” He easily could have stated Mary Anne is not intelligent, but very brave. However, the word choice creates a conversational tone, instead of …show more content…
In the chapter "The Man I Killed," O'Brien vividly describes a dead Vietnamese soldier that the character O'Brien killed while he was on watch. As O'Brien looks at the dead soldier, he notes that "his jaw was in his throat," that his hair was " swept upward into a cowlick at the rear of his skull," his neck was "open to the spinal cord," etc. By describing the dead soldier, O'Brien allows the reader to imagine how bloody, horrific, and gruesome the Vietnam war was. As O'Brien's company began to move on with the day like nothing was wrong, O'Brien was unable to stop thinking about the dead man. While he stared at the postmortem Viet Cong soldier, He imagined the young man as he was before he even became a soldier. O'Brien's regretful reaction to the gruesome appearance of the man he killed, shows that the war was a horrific and miserable experience. As O'Brien continued to think about the man he killed, he took note numerous times of a butterfly that landed on the dead man. The butterfly, in the story, is like its own little microcosm surrounded by a world of evil. It helps to develop the idea that even in an evil and horrible place like a war, there is still
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
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).
It’s hard to write a true war story because some of the things that happen people won’t believe or are even unimaginable. So O’Brien makes his stories related to his real war story. In his mind, he changes his actual war stories into the ones in the book, so it is a good story. If he had talked about his entire time in Vietnam it would be nowhere near as interesting. He made the book
O’Brien does not try to justify his actions, but makes up a life story that is very similar to his own to try to familiarize with the dead Viet Cong soldier he stumbles upon in the story “The Man I Killed”. The story O’Brien makes up highlights the dead soldier's life. Going from being teased for his women-like appearance at school and faking his excitement of fighting and being patriotic in front of his father and uncles. O’Brien continues to make up stories about the young Viet Cong soldier, how he went to continue his passion in math, going to study in Saigon and how he met this girl that liked him for his bony legs and small wrists. The way that O’Brien handles guilt after the war shows his own problems that arose during the war.
O’Brien begins thinking about how the soldier’s life must have been, simply by going off of his description. O’Brien says that this soldier loved math but was bullied for being smart and having a miniscule body. O’Brien also says that this soldier was told many stories about brave warriors who served their country just like us, but the soldier was scared, and he prayed that he wouldn’t become old enough to fight. This moment of O’Brien seeing life from the enemy’s shoes gives the reader sympathy for the vietcong soldier. O’Brien explaining this now gives a new way to connect to our “enemy” and truly questions if anyone in war is purely evil or purely
O’Brien presents a story in which he kills an innocent Vietnamese man walking through the woods. He describes the guilt and remorse he feels for his actions. He references this story several times throughout the book. Around the third time he admits that the guy he specifically described was not real, and that in fact he never killed anyone in the war, but the fact that he witnessed so many deaths put him at fault. “I remember his face, which was not a pretty face because his jaw was in his throat, and I remember feeling the burden of responsibility and grief.
Like all wars the Vietnam War had Physical and Psychologial scars. Fifty-eight thousand people were killed, two thousand captured, and three hundred thousand wounded. I could talk more about the physical trauma, but I want to talk about the psychological damages the war caused O’Brien and other soldiers. O’Brien was a part of the war and through the story you can see his bitterness and how the war affected his mind. Like loosing his best friend Ted Lavender, the chapter I chose to do is On the Rainy River.
The Things He Felt Written by Tim O’Brien and being a postwar novel, The Things They Carried differs highly from the other books associated with the same genre by its unique structure and distinctive approach towards events. The book does not have an uninterrupted flow, nor does it leave the audience with the satisfaction of knowing the exact truth. However, these lacks turn out being precisely what O’Brien aspires to accomplish. Throughout the novel, the narrator rotates around his memories “...clockwise as if in orbit”(133), not being able to identify a starting or an ending point, thus conveying his experiences to the reader in the same way he feels: blurry, repetitive and ambiguous.
On November 1, 1955, the Vietnam war began. The war was between North Vietnam and South Vietnam along with the United States to stop the spread of communism. Tim O’Brien walked alongside the South China Sea during his time in Vietnam. He and his soldiers called it Pinkville because of the color it was on the map which represented a misleading area. O’Brien published his novel The Things They Carried on war stories to show how storytelling can be believable although his novel is fiction.
In Tim O’brien’s war story, The Things They Carried, the narrator describes the life of American soldiers and provides evidence of how the war has impacted their lives. In the 1960’s, young American men were sent to fight in the war thousands of miles away from their homes. At this time, most men had no prior experience of fighting in a war. Naturally, the men had no idea what kind of brutality the war held also how much of a vital role the war would play in their futures. O’brien’s own experience with the war displayed that the fear of getting shamed before ones own peers played a main and also motivating factor for joining the draft.
Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” is stories centered around the American soldiers in the Vietnam war. O’Brien explains how the harsh atmosphere of war can mentally and physically traumatize a soldier. In order to escape this atmosphere some men fantasize about the women they love. The men do not think of the women as people with their own thoughts and feelings, instead they think of them as forms of comfort or motivation for survival. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross and Mark Fossie profess to hate the women they love because the women do not fulfil the fantasies the men have created.
Either it being self defense, economic gain or for a political movement, War is influenced by many factors that lead to catastrophic results. Both the Gulf and Vietnam wars are explained by the article, “Military Multiculturalism in the Gulf War and After” and short story “The Things They Carried” that signify the blind eye displayed by humans during these wars. What allows Humans to process traumatic events is to turn the other way around and fill their minds with joyful moments in their life. A couple of ways are displayed in both the short story and article are the soldiers letting their mind escape and thinking about the things they brought with them from home and the public accepting the medias filtered perspective of war by supporting
In the chapter when he describes the man he kills, he talks about the state of the dead body by saying, “His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, his other eye was a star-shaped hole…the skin at his left cheek was peeled back in three ragged strips, his right cheek was smooth and hairless, there was a butterfly on his chin, his neck was open to the spinal cord and the blood there was thick and shiny and it was this wound that had killed him” (O’Brien Chapter 11). This brutal and horrifying imagery displays an irrefutable element of truth to O’Brien’s writing. Not only does this imagery highlight the truth to his writing, but it also sheds light on the brutal truth about the war in Vietnam. By using imagery as such a strong rhetorical device in his writing, he gives the average person a taste of just how barbaric and cruel Vietnam felt for the people who experience the war first hand on either side of the fighting. Tim O’Brien gives a very detailed and intense description of his time fighting in Vietnam during their war with America.
He fought a war in Vietnam that he knew nothing about, all he knew was that, “Certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons” (38). He realized that he put his life on the line for a war that is surrounded in controversy and questions. Through reading The Things They Carried, it was easy to feel connected to the characters; to feel their sorrow, confusion, and pain. O’Briens ability to make his readers feel as though they are actually there in the war zones with him is a unique ability that not every author possess.
O’Briens intended audience is people who have an interest in war, and uses mortality and death, along with morality to help the audience get a deeper understanding of what could possibly occur at war. First, O’Brien discusses how mortality and death greatly affected many of the men around him. In the chapter ” In the Field” Kiowa is gone and there is nothing they could do to save him. The
O 'Brien use the symbolism the dancing Vietnamese and Mary Anne to show that war can destroy your humanity and innocence. It also use the allegory of the letters of Martha, and Linda, are used to show the past can either hurt or help you someone in war. The destruction of humanity and innocence it 's something terrifying, war can transform you completely into someone else that at the end you will no be able to recognize yourself. And in war you will need to take decisions that you may not like, you will need to get ride of things that you don 't want to let go of the past so you can be able to survive, and your decisions can hurt or help