In the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien expresses to the reader why the men went to the war and continued to fight it. In the first chapter, “The Things They Carried,” O’Brien states “It was not courage, exactly; the object was not valor. Rather they were too frightened to be cowards.” The soldiers went to war not because they were courageous and ready to fight, but because they felt the need to go. They were afraid and coped with their lack of courage by telling stories (to themselves or aloud) and applied humor to the situations they encountered. The men who served in the Vietnam War were just barely men, some of them were just hitting the age twenty.
Everyone was getting hurt and these wealthy officials kept their hands clean from miles away. They used the idea of patriotism for the fatherland to get people to enlist for the war. Patriotism, in no way, is a bad thing, however, when one is guilt tripped into believing that their fear of dying in war is actually a lack of devotion to their country, it becomes entirely wrong. One must understand that the majority of the soldiers fighting in World War I had no dispute with the other side and they had only joined, to protect the country they had grown up in and learned to love. These citizens should have been shown the reality because, painful or not, the soldiers who died on the battlefield a decade ago, deserved to know what they were signing up
Emotional Effects of War War takes a major toll on the emotions of all exposed to the front lines in battle. Often, soldiers return from war with mental issues that are overlooked. Only those exposed to war in it's gruesome and raw form can truly relate to the way it changes a person forever. Harold Krebs is just the same. He returns and cannot discuss the war in the way he was exposed, instead he is expected to have heroic accounts of his time in battle.
As the leader, he is supposed to be an able leader who provides his troops with concise instructions to gain a substantial and measurable advantage over their enemy. Nonetheless, the nature of the war in Vietnam makes this leadership impossible considering the fact the goals of the war are obfuscated and undefined. Similar to the operations of the war, Lt. Cross shows inadequacy in fulfilling his role. Moreover, Cross is a powerless leader because he underwent the traditional training that focused on following standard operating procedures that had been pre-decided, rather than adapting to the current environment. Lt. Cross’s other character shortcoming is his emotional and personal inability to lead the Alpha Company.
The first chapter will introduce the backstory of many of O’Brien’s closest friends during the war, young soldiers like Kiowa, Lieutenant Cross, and Mitchell Sanders. These are some of the characters that O’Brien grows a strong friendship with and they contribute to the main theme of the book, friendship, in that they help him through tough times and they all learn to care about one another. The Things They Carried is a great read that I would recommend to anyone who likes a good war story. However, the book is not great for someone who likes a storyline that follows
In the writing of the book Ambrose gave booth side of the war, from the American soldier as well as the German soldier. He did not lean toward or favor one side above the other. Any time he gave the accounting of an atrocity commented by one side, he would always have the stories from the other side to balance it out. He did not portray the American soldier any better than a German soldier, they all did horrific acts of cruelty during the war. There were also accounts of bravery, compassion and selflessness from both sides.
He paid homage to those friends because some of them passed away fighting and O’Brien wanted to show what made them special, especially because the men who fought and died in Vietnam often came home disrespected and ignored. Every story helped to shine light on the men who lost the fight. O’Brien went into incredible detail about what exactly made each man in his platoon special, especially if there was a story to lay to rest. By sharing these stories, themes of homage and sacrifice were explored as O’Brien hoped to explain what their friendship was and why it was so
The events that occurred in Vietnam remain a debate which continues to threaten our country’s politics. I will not deny our country was left with a scar which the years have shown us may very possibly never heal. I write from Washington as one who witnessed the politics that landed us in Vietnam, as one who supported the United States ' decision to get involved in this fight which could only have been described as taking place worlds away. The war may have been bloody, as all wars are, and the results may not have been the favored ones we had intended, but I stand by our decision. My intentions are not to paint over the events that took place in Vietnam as the ideal pathway, not to justify but to explain.
And right then I submitted. I would go to the war—I would kill and maybe die—because I was embarrassed not to” (O’Brien 57) O’Brien might as well neglected the opportunity to go into the strife, but he choked up enough grit to become a solider. Going into war is not a walk in a park and soldiers have to have great courage to enter into
The Vietnam War started off with the backing of the American people. Due to the fear of the spread of communism, the American people believed that defending South Vietnamese from the communist north was necessary. However, this way of thinking did not last throughout the war. As the war dragged on, the American people began to realize how more and more soldiers were being killed and yet there was no end to the war in sight. This negativity towards the war was only further fueled by how the television was covered in the war.