Shame In The Things They Carried

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The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, is about American soldiers in Vietnam war. In this novel, narrator tells his own story, and his own experience in war, how this war changes him and other soldiers and how unfair it is for a young ,educated person, to go to the war which has no purpose. In this novel, narrator manages to write down a story which makes him feel embarrassed, and story that he has never told to anyone. He mentions that, everyone believes that in moral emergency they will all behave like heroes of their youth, brave, without thought of any personal loss. In June of 1968, when narrator is twenty-one years old he is drafted to fight a war, and he has hard time making a decision. One thing that makes him go to the war…show more content…
"They carried their reputations. They carried the soldier's greatest fear, which was fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor" (21) In this passage the narrator mentions "the blush of dishonor" few times. "Blush of dishonor" is shame that follows every soldier, shame which brought them into this war, and shame which they try to hide constantly. It is the biggest fear for every soldier to show their embarrassment and shame. The narrator mentions that this was the thing that brought them to war. This statement also proves that shame was motivation for all soldiers to go to the war. In war soldiers aren't dreaming about glory or honor, all they dream about is to hide their feelings, and it they don't hide them then they feel embarrassed, and they experience soldier's greatest fear. Shame haunts down these soldiers during entire war. But in war shame also is a motivation for fighting better and being brave, because whenever a soldier is brave and good fighter he never experiences the blush of
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