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

1331 Words6 Pages

Sarah O’Malley
APLAC, Block 4B
Mrs. Stokes
31 March 2023
The Lasting Impacts of War
“He was a slim, dead, almost dainty young man of about twenty. He lay with one leg bent beneath him, his jaw in his throat, his face neither expressive nor inexpressive. One eye was shut. The other was a star-shaped hole” (O’Brien 124). This is just one of many traumatic events that replay in soldiers’ minds. The witnessed horrors of war lead to perpetual impacts on a person. Within The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, he reveals the untold horrors that encompass war which leave lasting impacts, through in-depth descriptions of events, the tainting of morals, and post-war reality.
Tim O’Brien uses an in-depth description of events to reveal the horrors of …show more content…

The distinction between right and wrong behavior is stifled during times of war. It is wrong to kill another person, but when placed in an unfamiliar environment and told to shoot, people do as they are told. This moral struggle is one many soldiers had to cope with. “There’s a man with a gun over there telling me I got to beware” “There’s battle lines being drawn nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong” (Buffalo). These quotes from Buffalo Springfield’s song For What It’s Worth were written about the Sunset Strip curfew riots in Los Angeles. Though the lyrics aren’t intended to reveal truths about war, they do. Soldiers were handed weapons of destruction, allowed to use them at their freedom, encouraged to beware of enemies, and kill anyone willing to kill them. The two sides fighting one another are both committing the same immoral actions, nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. Moral tentage is also seen in The Things They Carried, similarly to encouragement to beware within the lyrics, Tim Obrien uses stories to show the impacts of the corruption of morals. “The old rules are no longer binding, the old truths no longer true. Right spills over into wrong. Order blends into chaos, love into hate, ugliness into beauty, law into anarchy, civility into savagery. The vapors suck you in. You can’t tell where you are, or why you’re there, and the only certainty is overwhelming ambiguity” …show more content…

O’Brien and other influential war storytellers use detailed reports of events to portray the horrors of war. The unbelievable recollection of immoral acts shows the impacts war can have on a person’s character. All these events eventually lead to a post-war reality for soldiers that can be hard to cope with. Living a productive life post seeing a person with star-shaped holes for eyes and grotesque violence, is challenging. Raising questions about how to assist soldiers after they have been heavily impacted by the horrors war

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