With the abundance of tragedy and war in this world, everyone has an experience connected to all the violence. Moreover, people try to distance themselves from reality in order to find happiness or acceptance of these painful occurrences in their lives. In an analogous manner, the author Tim O’Brien shares stories of soldiers in the Vietnam War who try to evade their ordeals. In The Things They Carried, he explores how the effects of war during and after combat cause the soldiers to discover coping mechanisms to deal with all the violence and loss. While the soldiers are in Vietnam, their personalities adjust to fit the environment and reflect the burdens they carry. Often, they blame and accuse themselves for incidents that no one has control …show more content…
Without the ability to forget and persevere, they could not find the means to distance themselves from a life of war like the character Tim O’Brien. Instead, through the use of coping mechanisms, they try to escape their painful worlds. Gaining a sense of humor and lightheartedness about the war, finding courage, and writing everything down on paper helps each of the soldiers survive. These skills allow the soldiers to handle the devastating aftermath of war. With the lasting effects of the Vietnam War weighing on their lives overseas and home, the soldiers attempt to distance themselves from reality in order to survive each day mentally and physically during and after the war. During the Vietnam War, the soldiers carry many things with them, ranging from personal objects that remind them of home to feelings of burden and responsibility. These commodities keep the soldiers sane and give them something to hold …show more content…
When one enters a violent situation, that person is immediately reshaped in order to cope with their surroundings and experiences. Regarding the soldiers in the Vietnam War, it is no different; their personalities harden and mature, so they are capable of handling any scene that they encounter. Furthermore, a loss of innocence occurs. Going into the war, they are ignorant to the harsh realities of war, but afterwards, they come out changed: “Pranksters must become killers, dreamers must become realists — or someone dies” (McCarthy). The long-term exposure to the constant violence and paranoia causes the soldiers’ personalities to develop into harsher and grimmer versions of themselves. With this instant loss of innocence from the war, the soldiers need to maneuver away from this reality occasionally in order to keep their true personalities. In this way, they are creating a false world to shield themselves from the dangers of war, which can lead to a major personality shift. However, when the war completely takes over psychologically, the individual cannot cope any longer such as in Rat Kiley’s case: “His whole personality seemed out of kilter” (O’Brien 212). Because of his prolonged time in the war, he begins to imagine his organs rotting away, an act that costs him his personality. While some soldiers can develop a mechanism to cope
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In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, the author retells the chilling, and oftentimes gruesome, experiences of the Vietnam war. He utilizes many anecdotes and other rhetorical devices in his stories to paint the image of what war is really like to people who have never experienced it. In the short stories “Spin,” “The Man I Killed,” and “ ,” O’Brien gives reader the perfect understanding of the Vietnam by placing them directly into the war itself. In “Spin,” O’Brien expresses the general theme of war being boring and unpredictable, as well as the soldiers being young and unpredictable.
In the Article, You Don’t Ever Get Over It, published by Simon Hattenstone tells an insight of a man who shares his symptoms after war when, “At times he would be afraid to sleep because of the nightmares [he] was having. An example of tensing up when [he] saw hazard warning lights on a vehicle. [He] explained that in Iraq, vehicles loaded with explosive devices only had their hazard warning lights on,” (Simon Hattenstone). A british soldier named Robert Kilgour shares his after-war experience that let his health symptoms change his mental state of mind. With this in mind manifests Tim O'brien's view of how war can affect a soldier's emotional state of mind.
Imagine what war looks like. An image of suffering, grief, guilt, torture. The story, while set in Vietnam, is just as relevant today with the conflicts we have. Tim O’Brien, the main character, had to go through all the discomfort that comes with war. Even with all of the external and physical battles, the real conflict might just be inside the soldier.
In Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, O’Brien is the narrator recounting his experiences as a Vietnam War veteran through the form of storytelling. After death, people and experiences fade away and are often forgotten, and the only way to keep their lives remembered is to continue to tell them through story. There were many traumatic events that O’Brien had to deal with, namely the deaths of soldiers, the vietnamese soldier he killed, and the death of his childhood friend Linda. Many of the surviving soldiers developed PTSD and had flashbacks, while O’Brien held them in and blocked away the memories, as a form of catharsis. Storytelling becomes his form of therapy, and method of preserving the lives of the deceased.
Prewriting: Introduction: Often revered as a battle to defend Vietnamese ideologies, the Vietnam War is personified by many as a horrendous, unnecessary war that yielded to many detrimental after-effects, specifically on soldiers. In O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, initially it seems to take the same old generic personification, but after further reading, it is evident that Tim O’Brien’s desire to take on a different representation. Rather than taking on the violent, bloody interpretation of war, O’Brien focuses more on the relationships developed between the soldier and the severities experienced whilst in war. Throughout the novel, the themes of shame and guilt are manifested through the post war stories of the veterans, demonstrating that no soldier is able to escape this perpetual chasm of culpability.
Although sophisticated advancements have certainly changed the game of warfare, it has never been easy to carry, in any sense, for soldiers. Tim O’Brien evaluates the real burdens, both emotional and physical, of the Vietnam War in The Things They Carried. While the men of Alpha Platoon certainly are heavily weighed down in a physical sense, the mental burdens of war remain ever heavier -- as reflected in O’Brien’s title, The Things They Carried. Throughout The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien vividly represents the Vietnam War’s tangible and intangible impacts through the journeys of three characters: Jimmy Cross, Kiowa, and Norman Bowker.
Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Thing’s They Carried, reveals the author elaborating on his experiences of the Vietnam War through various war stories. While elaborating on his own personal experience from the war, he is also able to delve a little into how the war affects the country. “War has a catastrophic effect on the health and well being of nations. Studies have shown that conflict situations cause more mortality and disability than any major disease” (Lakshiminarayana and Murthy).
By attaching stories to deaths, and names to the faces of soldiers who otherwise would be just another killed in action, the real experiences of what it was to be a soldier in Vietnam come to life in ways cold hard facts and reality cannot. O’Brien’s book is not about war. It’s about the people who lived through the terror of being in Vietnam. As O’Brien writes “It’s about love and memory. It's about sorrow”(81).
To begin with, the experience of being at war has the power to change the way a person views the world around them. One example of this is in chapter 9, “Sweetheart Of The Song Tra Bong”, Tim O’Brien
Oliwia Parafinska Ms. Haughey English Composition 102 28 April, 2023 Essay 3 Dealing with heavy emotions after traumatic life experiences is a tough feat, especially in situations that army soldiers go through. When taking a deeper look into the situation, it is clear that repression of emotions occurs more often than not. Pushing aside feelings seems like an easy, temporary escape, however, this repression has tremendous consequences on the psyche. In “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien establishes the difficulty that soldiers in the Vietnam War have in terms of dealing with their emotional baggage which comprises grief along with fear.
The Things They Carried” is a great short story by Tim O’Brien who displays the remarkable story of soldiers during the Vietnam War. Being away from your family, in an unknown place, giving up your life’s luxuries is difficult to handle mentally and physically. Similarly, in the short story we see how soldiers try to overcome their fear by escaping from the reality of the war time situation around them, to a world that is just an illusion. Throughout the short story we see several men coping through their fear in Vietnam as they had the responsibility of a solider and carried burdens of need and emotions. In order to cope with their fear, the soldiers talked with each other and told each other what they felt since the only thing that they had was time and pain.
Literary Analysis: Guilt and Shame within “The Things They Carried” In the book The Things They Carried, there is a strong overall theme of guilt and shame. These two feelings correspond greatly with their involvement in the war. From these feelings, the Vietnam soldiers were forced to bear with hopelessness and despair as well when reflecting on their lives, and to continue to cope with it - for better or for worse. Jimmy Cross gets distracted by looking at the pictures of Martha in the chapter “The Things They Carried.”
The Weight In the short story, “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien talks about the weight soldiers carry in war. This particular war that Tim O’Brien was a part of is the Vietnam war. The soldiers in Vietnam have not only their gear to carry but they also carry the weight of the world in their hearts. Tim O’Brien uses symbolism, figurative language, and imagery to tell us of none other than pure hell.
The True Weight of War “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, brings to light the psychological impact of what soldiers go through during times of war. We learn that the effects of traumatic events weigh heavier on the minds of men than all of the provisions and equipment they shouldered. Wartime truly tests the human body and and mind, to the point where some men return home completely destroyed. Some soldiers have been driven to the point of mentally altering reality in order to survive day to day. An indefinite number of men became numb to the deaths of their comrades, and yet secretly desired to die and bring a conclusion to their misery.
O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York, NY: Houghton, 1990. Print. 233 pages. The Things