The Complexities Of War In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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The Things They Carried
Tim O'Brien's book "The Things They Carried" is an assortment of connected stories that focuses on the experiences of American soldiers in the Vietnam War. The book explores the troops' mental and emotional burdens, both material and intangible. O'Brien conveys the weight of both the material possessions they carry, such as firearms, ammo, and sentimental artifacts, as well as the emotional burdens they carry, such as shame, fear, and memories of trauma and loss. The accounts highlight the brutal realities of combat, the camaraderie among troops, the moral choices they must make, and the influence their experiences have on them over time. O'Brien explores the complexities of war, the fuzziness of reality and fiction, and the long-lasting impact of violence on the human psyche through compelling storytelling. The book's main topics are violence and brutality, both of …show more content…

The soldiers regularly have to choose between their own life and the lives of others. As they engage in actions that may appear immoral in order to defend themselves and their comrades, they are forced to grapple with the moral complexities of battle. The physical anguish and wounds the soldiers sustain result in amputated limbs, deformities, and lifelong disabilities. The physical scars they bear as a result of the abuse they endured make it harder for them to cope emotionally and psychologically. "Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to" (O’Brien PAGE NUMBER). The perception of peer pressure and societal expectations add to the severity and violence of war. The troops feel pressured to commit violent crimes in order to defend themselves as well as to live up to the ideals of courage and masculinity. This emphasizes how dehumanizing war is, with people sometimes acting violently out of shame or fear of being judged rather than out of genuine

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