Summary Of The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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Tim O’Brien is a novelist and a retired soldier from the Vietnam War. He wrote a semi-autobiographical novel titled, The Things They Carried, in a format that seemed as if we were in the novel itself. As readers continue with this novel one can envision and have the impression of deaths and all the effects war has on a soldier from the war. O’Brien explores the effect of war on an individual through fictionalized stories he tells in this novel in order to show how humans can change through drastic events that happen to them due to the war.
Being in a war affects the way we think and the people we love. In the chapter “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” Rat explains that everyone in the platoon, everyone in the war “were real young and innocent,
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In another part of the chapter, “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” O’Brien and the other men in the platoon are figuring out where Mary Anne Bell had gone, since she left the platoon. O’Brien thought “Vietnam had the effect of a powerful drug: that mix of unnamed terror and unnamed pleasure that comes as the needle slips in and you know you’re risking something” (109). For Mary Anne, and for other men, this thought was true. Some men loved being there but others hated it also. War can give you this adrenaline that makes you feel like you mean something to the U.S. or the world. But being in the war can give this loathing effect that makes you hate the U.S. and the world because of what they’re making you sacrifice. Adding on, in the chapter “How to Tell a True War Story,” O’Brien uses Rat Kiley to give the reader a demonstration on how to make a war story true. Also in this chapter, O’Brien explains that “war makes you a man; war makes you dead” (109). This explains that war makes someone dead, sometimes not even physically but mentally. War can make someone feel expired inside and not want to live life after such a hard and dark time of their life. Some people that came from war, don’t do anything in their life because they’re somewhat non existent inside and don’t want to show that pain to their loved
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