Through centuries of great wars and battles, history has displayed brave men and women who have fought for their countries. These audacious people have helped propel countries for the greater good. However, the weight and responsibility, of the war, takes a heavy toll on soldiers that is often overlooked. Tim O’Brien, author of the novel The Things They Carried, records his stories, and the stories of his fellow soldiers during the war. However, three of these soldiers are affected in an outlandish way.
Imagine being drafted to move thousands of miles away from the life you love to fight a war you hated. This is the unfortunate reality for Tim O’Brien In The Things They Carried. O’Brien explains his experiences of war in Vietnam, what it took to get him there, and his relationships with the other men in his platoon. He portrays guilt and pride through storytelling and intertwines the two by showing how the men often feel guilty for the actions they pursue or decisions they make based on their pride.
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,
In Tim O’Brien’s book The Things They Carried he brings you into his life leading up to and through fighting in the Vietnam War. In the book he walks you through his journey of physical and personal struggles along with his fellow soldiers’. Throughout the book O’Brien gives you a sense of his own courage and how it evolves over time. Starting out when O’Brien is back in high school and the draft is rapidly approaching, he seems to be feeling very anxious and somewhat scared to be forced to fight. After his senior year in high school, getting ready to go off to Harvard to continue
Psychological Warfare in The Things They Carried Unless you have been in war or have read The Things They Carried, you can't fully understand the psychological toll on a person's mind and body, you can't understand the psychological hardship soldiers go through in war. However, The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, is written to where it shows the overall psychological effects of war on soldiers in and out of Vietnam; as shown throughout the story, the recurring themes of trauma, love, and guilt give the clear psychological implications of war.
Death is something that occurs often in a war due to the violence and dangerous areas. Everyone takes on the thought of someone dying in different ways, whether they maintained a close relationship with the person or not guilt could become an instant reaction of the persons' death because of a feeling of maybe being responsible for the death that occurred. The thought of maybe being responsible for one of the soldiers that you have spent day night serving with could leave an enormous amount of guilt in one person. When witnessing a death or anything traumatic it is easy to blame someone else or even yourself for the tragic accident. Multiple characters in the book The Things They Carried demonstrated the guilt and responsibility of another
“Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to.” Curt Lemon, Norman Bowker and Tim O’Brien have their own stories about how they were cowards and courageous during the war. These three men knew if they did not do what they did, they would have been cowards. It would have made them feel embarrassed. The first story is about Curt Lemon during a visit with the dentist (O’Brien, 82-84).
The Things They Carried constantly emphasizes the juxtaposition between the war in Vietnam and the peace back home. O’Brien’s constant emphasis on the idea that war is a personal thing that can’t be fully explained or told about reveals his main purpose for crafting The Things They Carried- war does not leave even one person unscathed, and after it is over, those changes will never go away. The war is so personal an experience because it leaves everyone involved permanently altered, and each person’s change is too specialized to be explained to
The draft pulled them into it. They did not want to dishonor their fathers, their country and society who told them fighting is honorable. In “The Things They Carried,” it was this ‘dishonor’ that had lead them to enter the war, it was “nothing
Readers, especially those reading historical fiction, always crave to find believable stories and realistic characters. Tim O’Brien gives them this in “The Things They Carried.” Like war, people and their stories are often complex. This novel is a collection stories that include these complex characters and their in depth stories, both of which are essential when telling stories of the Vietnam War. Using techniques common to postmodern writers, literary techniques, and a collection of emotional truths, O’Brien helps readers understand a wide perspective from the war, which ultimately makes the fictional stories he tells more believable.
“That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future ... Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story” (36). The Things They Carried is a captivating novel that gives an inside look at the life of a soldier in the Vietnam War through the personal stories of the author, Tim O’Brien . Having been in the middle of war, O’Brien has personal experiences to back up his opinion about the war.
Over all, this story allows us to observe changes within the mentalities of army officers. First, the trauma of living in a war zone can add a significant amount of intangible weight into someone’s life. In “The Things They Carried,” we discover that Cross’s men “carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die (443).” Given that the majority of humans have experienced some form of trauma, we can understand how some men were driven to suicide and others into
She also reveals about the various aspects of military training which drives these soldiers into the state of war. These soldiers are trained to kill without even thinking once, due to which they themselves suffer from both trauma and loss of their own souls. She
“They carried the common secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it could never be put down, it required perfect balance and perfect posture.” (O’Brien 77) Tim O’Brien clearly demonstrates to the reader that one of the most difficult burdens to bear is being a coward because even though carrying over fifty pounds of equipment is hard on the body physically cowardice is among the worst pain because you can never put that feeling down for even a second to relieve the pain. The novel The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, intends to show the reader how the platoons soldier’s cowardice and dread can effect them in the form of regret later in