Through centuries of great wars and battles, history has displayed brave men and women who have fought for their countries. These audacious people have helped propel countries for the greater good. However, the weight and responsibility, of the war, takes a heavy toll on soldiers that is often overlooked. Tim O’Brien, author of the novel The Things They Carried, records his stories, and the stories of his fellow soldiers during the war. However, three of these soldiers are affected in an outlandish way. The lives of soldiers, Norman Bowker and Curt Lemon, illustrate how the war pressures the human spirit to a standard it can’t resemble. The pressure and responsibilities of lost friends and lost acts of courage heavily weigh Norman Bowker down, …show more content…
After the death of Curt Lemon, Tim O’Brien explains how Lemon’s tough persona didn’t phase him. O’Brien states, “I knew him only slightly, and what I did know was not impressive. He had a tendency to play the tough soldier role, always posturing, always puffing himself up, and on occasion he took it way too far” (O’Brien 82). Because the war is so demanding, Curt strives to live up to its demands with the utmost courage. However, he takes his responsibility too aggressively and makes all around changes to who he really is. This new, virile persona is too good to be true and that’s what O’Brien is touching on. Lemon’s ancillary attitude comes off as fake because he’s trying to be something he’s not, which is perfect. The quest to perfection is a height that cannot be lived up to. However Curt does not realise that, so he changes himself to live up to an unachievable standard. During a trip to the dentist, Curt’s character is brought to attention again. Although able to face the toughest war commands, Curt Lemon cannot face the dentist. When visiting with the dentist, Curt passes out and embarrasses himself. Afterwards, O’Brien observes, “He seemed a little dazed. Now and then we could hear him cussing, bawling himself out. Anyone else would have laughed it off, But for Curt Lemon it was too much” (O’Brien 84). Curt’s fears about the dentist drive him to a breaking point that shames …show more content…
The war forces people into situations where the pressure is too much and the environment forces a change on how one views himself. Curt Lemon and Norman Bowker held themselves to standards that they couldn’t reach. They let the war determine how they live and who they would become. The war causes the human spirit to change so vastly that it leads to a demise, so quick and drastic, that it is hard to
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Tim O’Brien and Chris Kyle both use literary devices to contrast two different ideas of war. “There’s no place to go. Not just in this lousy little town. In general. My life, I mean.
In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien describes how soldiers physically and emotionally adapted to Vietnam. In the chapters “The Dentist” and “Stockings,” he uses irony to accentuate these adaptations, in order to illustrate that for those who fought in the war coping was as essential as surviving. In “The Dentist,” Curt Lemon’s desire to be perceived as strong highlights his burrowed uncertainty of his courage.
War is the graveyard of innocence for boys who become men through the loss of humanity. The book “Fallen Angels,” by Walter Dean Myers, is a story about Richard Perry, a young man who mistakenly joins the Vietnam War to avoid the shame of not going to college. As the book goes on Perry discovers his mistake and in the process, not only loses his innocence, but also his humanity. Wars will always be the dark parts of our history and no war is devoid of horrors that can strip anyone of everything they are, and in war soldiers must use coping mechanisms to deal with these very apparent horrors.
Many people allocated extreme sacrifices during the Second World War and James Dowling was no exception. This hero embodied a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom when he kept fighting, despite being a prisoner of war for eight months, and also when he undertook various jobs to help better his community. Dowling’s personal perseverance after he was released from his prisoner of war camp is a trait I should strive to emulate in my every-day life. Two soldiers were interviewed in the video entitled “The Greatest Generation,” and these two soldiers demonstrated qualities that were parallel to those of James Dowling. James Dowling was a hero both on the frontier and the home front.
Estimated over 30% of Vietnam Veterans suffer from PTSD. Many suffer from a vast variety of mental health issues. A majority of Veterans feel that they cannot ever explain the negative experiences they suffered in war and the consequences of those. There is a fear of embarrassment and being perceived as weak. In the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien, the author, conveys that Vietnam Veterans conceal their bad experiences with war; if these are revealed to others, no one knows how to respond.
The death witnessed during war is often a recurring thought in soldiers returning from war. This idea is explored in The Things They Carried, a novel about the Vietnam war. This novel explains the overall experiences of war and the trauma soldiers faced in and outside of war. The author, Tim O’Brien, carries a lot of guilt from war and wrote this book as a way to reflect on his experiences. Throughout the book, he argues that when soldiers experience the emotional burdens caused by death at war, they need to place blame in order to cope with their emotions.
The American Revolution marked the history of many heroic events that immaculately stand as true inspirations for the generations to come in the United States. Even today, the gallantry of a few soldiers that won independence for the country is not only kept in the hearts of the people but run in the American blood to demonstrate acts of valor at times of war and hardships. One such story recorded in the history dates back to 1776, about a sixteen-year old juvenile, Joseph Plumb Martin, joined the Rebel Infantry and recorded his tribulations about forty-seven years in a memoir titled as “A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier”. The book mainly focuses on the sufferings through the tough situation he went through.
After the death of Curt Lemon, Rat Kiely fails to express his emotions and releases tension through violence. When the baby buffalo, a cultural symbol of Vietnam, refuses to accept Kiely’s advances, Kiely immediately resorts to shooting the animal with the goal of prolonging it’s suffering. O’Brien writes the scene to reflect the tension, “He put the muzzle right up to the mouth and shot the mouth away. Nobody said much”, The focus on Kiely’s aim towards its mouth shows his own need for communication and his continued attack mirrors how Lemon’s body was completely torn apart. In her essay “Truth and Fiction in Tim O’Brien’s If I Die in a Combat Zone and The Things They Carried”, Marilyn Wesley connects Lemon’s death and Kiely’s violent choices, “The horrific aattack on the body of the animal mimics his friend’s fragmentation and evisceration.
The True Weight of War “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, brings to light the psychological impact of what soldiers go through during times of war. We learn that the effects of traumatic events weigh heavier on the minds of men than all of the provisions and equipment they shouldered. Wartime truly tests the human body and and mind, to the point where some men return home completely destroyed. Some soldiers have been driven to the point of mentally altering reality in order to survive day to day. An indefinite number of men became numb to the deaths of their comrades, and yet secretly desired to die and bring a conclusion to their misery.
In a scene where Curt Lemon accidentally steps on a mine and is torn into many pieces, his closest comrade, Rat Kiley, has trouble grieving the loss of his friend. In a furious state, Kiley tortures a water buffalo. This scene represents the emotional and physical torture the men in Vietnam are subjected to. Both the soldiers in Vietnam and the water buffalo are in a position where their lives are out of their control. Just as the water buffalo was tortured to death, most of the men in Alpha Company feel helpless in their situation.
Tim O’Brien uses storytelling and memories to bring characters and events back to life in order to tell their story. O’Brien wants the readers to understand that even though people die and an event is no longer occurring, the event or person is not gone entirely. The Things They Carried is a book written by a man named Tim O’Brien. He is considered, “The best American writer of his generation,” by the San Fransisco Examiner.
Challenges at War Robert E. Lee once said, “What a cruel thing war is… to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors”. The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien takes place in Vietnam. He and a handful of other men experience things only one can image and hope they will never have to experience again. They learn how death among them can greatly affect them, and many others. War is not an easy task to get through and these men all had different coping methods.
In Tim O'Brien's “Enemies” and “Friends”, O'Brien shows the effect the nature of war has on individuals and how war destroys and creates friendships. These two stories describe the relationship between two soldiers, Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen. In “Enemies”, friendship is broken over a fist fight about a stolen jackknife, which leaves Strunk with a broken nose and Jensen paranoid of whether or not Strunk’s revenge is coming. While in “Friends”, you see how the nature of war creates a bond of trust, even between people who first saw each other as enemies.
This chapter “The Ghost Soldiers”, showed us how Tim O’Brien and the other soldiers were dealing with the war both physically and psychologically. It also shows us how the Tim O'Brien behaved and felt when he was shot, wounded and had a bacteria infection on his butt and how the war changed the way he thought, and viewed the other soldiers around him. This chapter also contain a lot of psychological lens. From the way Tim O’Brien felt when he was shot and separated from his unit to a new unit to when he wanted revenge on Bobby Jorgenson for almost “killing” him.
Storytelling has been the epitome of human expression for thousands of years. Along with musicians and artists, talented storytellers use their work to share ideas with others, often in an effort to evoke emotion or to persuade people to think similarly. Every element in a story is carefully crafted by the author in order to communicate a desired message to his or her audience. In Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut incorporates irony into the story to express his belief that fighting wars is illogical.