The Things They Carried Heroism Analysis

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Patriotism, nationalism, and heroism can be defined differently based on beliefs and situations. For example, my definitions of these things are both similar and different than Tim O’Brien’s views in The Things They Carried. Though the definitions of nationalism, patriotism, and heroism can change based on personal belief, we all have a general idea of our standpoints. In my opinion, heroism is, in a basic sense, saving people. This ideas is most likely based off of my love of superhero movies, shows, and comics. In terms of military and war, I feel that the term hero is extremely debatable. They are defending the country; however, at the same time, they are committing murder. Similarly to my definition of heroism, Tim O’Brien’s slightly different viewpoint is clearly stated in The Things They Carried. To him, heroism and war are not related. He believes that war has too much death for heroism. Not once throughout what of the book we have read has anyone even suggested the idea of being a hero. Instead, he puts emphasis on things such as Ted Lavender’s death and makes comments such as “A true war story is never moral. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel…show more content…
His views on nationalism, as shown by the statement "I survived, but it's not a happy ending. I was a coward. I went to the war"(The Things They Carried, 79), are not extremely prominent. This quote clearly shows that he did not feel strongly enough for his country to potentially die for it. He believes patriotism is almost non-existent which is expressed through the idea that his only motivation for joining the army is the opinions of others and the statement “they carried their reputations. They carried the soldier's greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to” (The Things They Carried,
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