This chapter “The Ghost Soldiers”, showed us how Tim O’Brien and the other soldiers were dealing with the war both physically and psychologically. It also shows us how the Tim O'Brien behaved and felt when he was shot, wounded and had a bacteria infection on his butt and how the war changed the way he thought, and viewed the other soldiers around him. This chapter also contain a lot of psychological lens. From the way Tim O’Brien felt when he was shot and separated from his unit to a new unit to when he wanted revenge on Bobby Jorgenson for almost “killing” him.
O’Brien hits the reader with a dark reality of war stories, “There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.” This is something that O’Brien gets from talking to Rat Kiley’s experiences with writing to his beloved. The guy started out as innocent but comes back jaded and angry. This is a symptom of the truth, it’s not pretty and anyone telling you there is something to be gained from learning about them is wrong.
The Things They Carried, a novel by Tim O’Brien and published in 2009, examines what it was like to have fought in the Vietnam War, through memory, imagination, and the powerful ability of storytelling. Throughout his book O’Brien writes a series of vignettes and describes what it was like during the war, and the effects it had on him a decade later. There was one part in particular that really caught my attention. In the chapter,“How to Tell a True War Story”, O’Brien mentions how Rat Kiley, a Vietnam soldier, writes a letter and he was not pleased with the outcome. As I am sitting on my bed reading one of the chapters in the novel, “How to Tell a True War Story,” I begin to see a flashback of my own life.
While the soldiers were in basic training the majority of the soldiers went through a process called “emotional numbing” which helped the men learn to suppress the feelings they generate. The men lived in fear, which is the most common emotion associated with war. While the soldiers were fighting they were surrounded by death and fear because leaves knowing that they could die or their friends could die at any second really took a toll on them. War just didn’t end when they physically left, war never the mind of the men. When the soldiers returned home many suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In the novel “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’brien, includes many characters in his book, that were all affected by the war; each in a different way, Mary Anne, Rat Kiley and Norman Bowker were each affected by the vietnam war. Mary Anne significantly
In the novel “The Things They Carried” author and also ex-veteran Tim O’brien writes a collection of linked short stories about a platoon of American soldiers fighting during the vietnam war. The Vietnam war was a long, unpopular and costly war and once U.S citizens began to see the harsh realities of the war their support for it quickly diminished. Approximately 20 years after the war had started, due to the fear of communism spreading, it finally came to an end leaving at least 58,000 American soldiers, out of 3 million casualties, dead and the remaining scarred for life with emotional and physical burdens. Throughout each short story we learn the significance in which the the title of the novel holds, it expresses that the soldiers not
Novelist, Tim O’Brien writes short semi true stories about his and other’s experiences in the Vietnam war. O’Brien wanted to explain to his audience what happens in war and how it effects people after the fact. O’Brien really helps his audience acknowledge how much war really does change people. Tim’s dynamic use of symbolism, imagery, and figurative language emphasizes the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that people experience during and after the war. O’Brien begins by analyzing the thoughts of sorrow and loss overwhelm the Vietnam veterans upon their return back home.
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
In the short story, “The Man I Killed,” O’Brien focuses on this to show that everyone fighting in a war has a story. He spends the story describing the man he killed and searching for justification of his actions. He carries around guilt with him because of it, and his fellow soldiers try to help him justify and come to terms with his action by saying things like, “You want to trade places with him? Turn it all upside down= you want that? I mean, be honest,” (126) and “Tim, it’s a war.
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.
In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien discusses his experiences in the Vietnam War through fictionalized stories. Throughout his stories, he develops the idea that as a witness or soldier experiences the Vietnam War, they develop a new outlook on life. In the stories; “The Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,”“Church,” and “Speaking of Courage” soldiers and other individuals involved in combat have gained a new perspective. For certain characters such as Mary Anne and Norman Bowker the Vietnam war had an extremely negative effect on them, whereas the character of Lieutenant Jimmy Cross was positively affected as he was able to mature on the battlefield. The most tragic story of the novel is the transformation of Mary Anne from an innocent young
Interpreting the emotional effects and impacts of war on soldiers can be quite difficult. What most people do not understand is that post-traumatic stress disorder or commonly referred to as PTSD, is something that is lifelong and troublesome to treat. It was due to the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War, that this disorder was discovered. The National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study (NVVRS) approximates that 236,000 veterans currently have PTSD from the Vietnam War, an enormous long-term emotional and human cost of war (Vermetten). Tim O’Brien captures an astonishing painful and powerful realism through the emotions that the soldiers experience in “The Things They Carried”.
It was recorded nearly 2.6 million soldiers were sent to Vietnam to fight a gruesome war. About 58,000 of those 2.6 million soldiers perished by the time the Vietnam War was over (Vietnam War Statistics, 1997). These men had to live and die with strength, wits, impassive, and remorseless, all given by the society they were viewed in. Tim O’Brien a Vietnam War veteran born in Austin, Minnesota, was drafted into the war in 1968. He went through hell and back to write his book the Things They Carried (1990).
This quote epitomizes the trauma caused by war. O’Brien is trying to cope, mostly through writing these war stories but has yet to put it behind him. He feels guilt, grief, and responsibility, even making up possible scenarios about the life of the man he killed and the type of person he was. This
War was so much more than just war to O’Brien and he able to share this through his writing. " But this is true: stories can save us. ... in a story, which is a kind of dreaming, the dead sometimes smile and sit up and return to the world." (page