The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

587 Words3 Pages

In Tim O’brien’s war story, The Things They Carried, the narrator describes the life of American soldiers and provides evidence of how the war has impacted their lives. In the 1960’s, young American men were sent to fight in the war thousands of miles away from their homes. At this time, most men had no prior experience of fighting in a war. Naturally, the men had no idea what kind of brutality the war held also how much of a vital role the war would play in their futures. O’brien’s own experience with the war displayed that the fear of getting shamed before ones own peers played a main and also motivating factor for joining the draft. American soldiers made a difference, risked their lives, and changed their own aspects of the war in its entirety to avoid shame of their peers.
The author suggests that although it may appear to be, courage was not a motivating factor for several tasks attempted in life. Courage was actually rather a shame than a motivating factor. The narrator says, “Men killed and died, because they were embarrassed not to” (O’brien 21). The American soldiers simply wanted to please their loved ones and desired to make them somewhat proud of their accomplishments. O’brien states that shame was the reason for him to join the army because of the love he had for his family and friends. Dodging the draft could have upset and shamed …show more content…

The fear also impacted the relationships the American soldiers had with one another. Most soldiers were concerned about obtaining social acceptance during the war. Social acceptance may seem to be unimportant but played a factor especially since the idea of coming close to death united them daily. Shame was often tied to the soldiers being engaged to dangerous and ridiculous actions. Soldiers were often blinded by the idea of shame and attempted to fight not only in the war but also fought for their loved ones

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