Imagine being drafted to move thousands of miles away from the life you love to fight a war you hated. This is the unfortunate reality for Tim O’Brien In The Things They Carried. O’Brien explains his experiences of war in Vietnam, what it took to get him there, and his relationships with the other men in his platoon. He portrays guilt and pride through storytelling and intertwines the two by showing how the men often feel guilty for the actions they pursue or decisions they make based on their pride.
In Tim O’Brien’s book The Things They Carried he brings you into his life leading up to and through fighting in the Vietnam War. In the book he walks you through his journey of physical and personal struggles along with his fellow soldiers’. Throughout the book O’Brien gives you a sense of his own courage and how it evolves over time. Starting out when O’Brien is back in high school and the draft is rapidly approaching, he seems to be feeling very anxious and somewhat scared to be forced to fight. After his senior year in high school, getting ready to go off to Harvard to continue
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.
Literary analysis America’s war heroes all have the same stories to tell but different tales. Prescribed with the same coloring page to fill in, and use their methods and colors to bring the image to life. This is the writing style and tactic used by Tim O’Brien in his novel, “The Things They Carried”. Steven Kaplan’s short story criticism, The Undying Certainty of the Narrator in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, provides the audience with an understanding of O’Brien’s techniques used to share “true war” stories of the Vietnam War. Kaplan explains the multitude of stories shared in each of the individual characters, narration and concepts derived from their personal experiences while serving active combat duty during the Vietnam War,
Throughout the narrative, O’Brien recounts the demise of his fellow soldiers, amassing uncontrollable guilt to have survived, “This constant reference to his fellow soldier’s demise is the guilt and confusion he feels.” (Weatherspoon). The psychological impact the soldiers face in The Things They Carried is carefully crafted using apathy, fear and guilt to tell the despondent
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.
He fought a war in Vietnam that he knew nothing about, all he knew was that, “Certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons” (38). He realized that he put his life on the line for a war that is surrounded in controversy and questions. Through reading The Things They Carried, it was easy to feel connected to the characters; to feel their sorrow, confusion, and pain. O’Briens ability to make his readers feel as though they are actually there in the war zones with him is a unique ability that not every author possess.
The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien uses many effective rhetorical strategies throughout. In the chapter On the Rainy River, Tim O’Brien tells the audience a story he has never told anybody. Not even his parents, siblings or wife. He narrates the events and emotions that he experienced after receiving a war draft notice during the summer of 1968. O’Brien is ashamed about how he dealt with the notice and he feels as though he is “too good” to go to war.
In the story he explains that he wants to go to Canada because he does not want to be killed in the war and Canada is the safe place. The author mentions how he thinks it is unfair that he has to go fight in a war that he disagrees with. The other option the author faces is to go fight the war in Vietnam. He is very afraid to disappoint his family and friends because it would be obvious if he ran away and he would never be able to go back. He saw himself as a coward because he was embarrassed.
Hidden somewhere within the blurred lines of fiction and reality, lies a great war story trapped in the mind of a veteran. On a day to day basis, most are not willing to murder someone, but in the Vietnam War, America’s youth population was forced to after being pulled in by the draft. Author Tim O’Brien expertly blends the lines between fiction, reality, and their effects on psychological viewpoints in the series of short stories embedded within his novel, The Things They Carried. He forces the reader to rethink the purpose of storytelling and breaks down not only what it means to be human, but how mortality and experience influence the way we see our world. In general, he attempts to question why we choose to tell the stories in the way
Although he has no way of knowing anything about the man’s life, O’Brien attempts to humanize the soldier by creating a story for him, and memorializing it in order to place meaning on the man’s life. It is interesting to note that parts of O’Brien’s description of the soldier’s life reflect his own feelings. For example, while speaking about the man’s recruitment to the army, O’Brien tells, “…secretly… [the war] frightened him. He was not a fighter.”
The short stories he writes center on the importance of companionship and friendship during war, which very well may be first hand accounts since O’Brien knows what it is like to actually be in a war. The stories are narrated by a character named Tim O’Brien, a character with a fictional past named after the author and modeled after his experiences. Tim begins the story by telling the reader what each soldier packs with them to help them ease anxiety or remember home while the group marches, which is inspiration for the title. In this beginning chapter, Tim introduces the reader to each character, and most of the characters introduced in this first chapter will have stories that are focused on them or that they appear in later on in the book. 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.
Psychological Warfare in The Things They Carried Unless you have been in war or have read The Things They Carried, you can't fully understand the psychological toll on a person's mind and body, you can't understand the psychological hardship soldiers go through in war. However, The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, is written to where it shows the overall psychological effects of war on soldiers in and out of Vietnam; as shown throughout the story, the recurring themes of trauma, love, and guilt give the clear psychological implications of war.
"I carry the memories of the ghosts of a place called Vietnam — the people of Vietnam, my fellow soldiers," quotes O’Brien. "More importantly," he continues, "I carry the weight of responsibility, and a sense of abiding guilt." (npr.org). His intended audience for the book was adults,
The soldiers in the Vietnams war were there for different reasons, some soldiers were forced against their will and some were there by choice. Because of that, each soldier has their own thoughts about the war, O’Brien has interpreted that “The twenty –six men were very quiet: some of them excited by the adventure, some of them afraid”. This clearly shows how the men