Summary Of The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, the reader receives insight as to what soldiers experienced during the Vietnam War and what thoughts consumed their minds in those times of hardship and heartache. As Americans, we typically picture military men and women as emotionally and physically strong, while in reality, that may not be the case. They deal with more emotional and physical trauma than we come to understand. People who carry physical or emotional burdens tend to seek some kind of release or do something to feel relieved of their burdens. O’Brien uses stories about the men in his platoon to depict how soldiers are bound by their own emotional weights, and each have a different way of trying to release themselves from those tensions. …show more content…

O’Brien tells us, “On the third day, Curt Lemon stepped on a boobytrapped 105 round” (O’Brien 74). That night, Rat tortures a baby water buffalo he finds with his buddies. He shoots the buffalo in many different parts of its body without killing it. It is described how, “It wasn’t to kill; it was to hurt” (O’Brien 75). Rat Kiley was feeling immense grief and pain after the death of his friend, so he inflicted pain upon another living thing. He did it in order to feel relief from all his own mental …show more content…

In the second to last chapter, O’Brien writes, “The next morning he shot himself. He took off his boots and socks, laid out his medical kit, doped himself up, and put a round through his foot” (O’Brien 212). The man was Rat Kiley, and after the incident, he was sent to a hospital in Japan. He suffered from horrible dreams and visions that he could not escape. It was overwhelming for him so he decided to try to do something about it. Some people might think that the measures he took were extreme, but they were not considering what he was dealing with in the war. He only did what he could to try and escape the terrible things in

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