The Things They Carried Feminist Analysis

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Violence typically conjures images of battle and blood and broken bones, but oftentimes, it manifests itself in a far more insidious manner. One doesn't need to physically transgress upon a woman's person in order to abuse them. The mindset of misogyny prevalent in our society lends itself to constant reinforcement of the devaluation of women and disregard of their autonomy, which itself is conducive to violation of boundaries. This hostility is endemic to the patriarchy, a socially constructed system in which males wield the power in society, which is used to control and dominate discourse, especially in the realm of war stories. Antifeminist notions are widespread within the accounts of bloodshed and combat; roles female characters typically play pigeonhole them into some sort of prop-like state in order to advance the male narrative. This is predominant in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a 1990 fictional retelling of the author's experience as a soldier in the…show more content…
If one imagines a soldier within a Western context, especially for an event such as the Vietnam War, the representation evoked is almost surely a young, white, male, American soldier. Despite the fact that they were not the only demographic of people involved, their stories are usually the ones being told, as seen in publications, Hollywood films, and documentaries. Seldom is a woman a protagonist in tales of combat and when she is, she is a nurse, or a captive, or a victim of sexual assault, or some combination of the above. In fact, she is typically utilized as a prop to further the development and growth of the male lead. This lends itself to the rare female character generally being easily substituted with an object at little to no cost to the plot due to their lack of

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