Summary Of The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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Tim O’Brien, author of “The Things They Carried”, tells a war tale which contains no heroes because his story showcases the blunt reality of war. Many men, in the past, did not go to war to become heroes; rather they were forced to enlist because of the military draft or because they felt cowardly due to the expectations of society. Tim O’Brien chose to share his story because he wanted non-military civilians to learn the truth about war; the realistic side of war that the news and Hollywood films won’t show you. War is hell; it is painful, traumatizing, and completely life changing, to say the least. In my opinion, O’Brien gives readers an inside look and understanding of how there are no heroes of war, because fighting for a cause that …show more content…

In fact, O’Brien debunks the assumption that men go to fight in wars to become heroes, for he did not go to the war to be recognized as a hero. Instead, Tim O’Brien, like so many others, initially wanted to avoid the draft, but succumbed to the pressures of society, that still continues on to this day. The men, especially the draftees, never quite know what they’re getting into, and wars bring out every emotion in a person through different experiences. In his book, O’Brien states, “Getting shot should be an experience from which you can draw some small pride…” (182). This quote emphasizes the moments of the war in which men muster up what little they would have ever opened up to when they speak of their experiences. O’Brien then adds, “the way your eyes focus on a tiny white pebble or a blade of grass and how you start thinking, Oh man, that’s the last thing I’ll ever see, that pebble, that blade of grass, which makes you want to cry” (182). This statement encompasses the ultimate reality of facing death on the battlefield. People might even ask themselves what sort of heroic death they are departing with, and whether they are truly proud of their sacrifice in that moment of departure. The truth is, soldiers are not thinking about their country when they’re being shot at, they’re thinking about everybody they know, especially themselves and their fellow infantry mates fighting viciously beside them; and that is the main idea that O’Brien cleverly articulates as the tone of all the firefights they encounter in the

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