The Things They Carried Book Report

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Would you be able to bounce back from seeing your best friend drown in a field used as the village toilet? This exact thing happens in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. The memoir takes place in Vietnam and is about a group of boys in the Alpha Company. In the book, you see the author getting drafted into the war, you walk along with the soldiers, and you see what happens to them when they return home, if they get there. The Things They Carried shows me that you can 't truly understand war without being in it. In the beginning of the memoir, Tim O 'Brien explains how the soldiers are fighting a war that people back home don’t understand and the emotional baggage that comes with it. After he first discovers that he’s been drafted, he feels many emotions and thinks about running off to Canada and living his life in secrecy. On page 48 of the book, he writes,…show more content…
Towards the end of the book, O 'Brien talks about the mental change the war creates in your mind that never lets you completely bounce back to civilization. On page 208 and 226, the author explains two strategies the soldiers use to keep themselves sane in Vietnam. They use language tricks, turning miles of marching in the pitch dark was called the “night life”, a burnt body became a “crunchie munchie” or a “crispy critter”; “If it isn’t human, it doesn’t matter much if it’s dead.” On page 215, Tim is new to the war and he hasn’t developed the humor the rest of the guys have, like shaking hands with dead bodies to make the deaths seem less real. The author’s friend, Kiowa, says, “Well, you’re new here. You’ll get used to it.” Eventually, O’Brien does get used to it. On page 190, he says, “I’d come to this war a quiet, thoughtful sort of person,” and continues to explain his personality from his civilized life. He goes on to say, “...after seven months in the bush I realized that those high, civilized trappings had somehow been crushed under the weight of the simple daily realities. I’d turned mean
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