The Things They Carried Mental Strength Essay

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Mental Strength Is Greater Than Physical Power Throughout world history, there have been numerous wars. As the time went on, the weapons in warfare became more advanced and destructive. Today, the winners of war end up being the ones with the better physical ability and more advanced weapons. No matter how well the soldiers are physically prepared for war, no training can prepare them for the mental damages the war is going to have on them. In Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul is fighting in World War I with poor clothes and weapons, and a half empty stomach. Jimmy Cross however, in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, carried pounds of weapons and equipment on his back while he was fighting in the Vietnam War. Despite the differences in their ability to physically survive the war, all soldiers must have mental strength in order to endure the horrors of war. Compared to the soldiers like Paul in WWI, the American soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War were put at an advantage because of better equipment and weapons. Not only does Paul not have great weapons, he and his comrades desire new boots. After Kemmerich dies, his boots become a symbol of survival, because the protection against the cold and wet trenches are well needed. The food in the trenches was also scarce, while the rats were plenty. Jimmy Cross on…show more content…
Even though their wars were about 60 years apart, both Paul and Jimmy Cross had to psychological scars from their experiences at war. Not even the deadliest weapons could save both soldiers from the devastating mental scars the war leaves on them. Both, “The Things They Carried,” and All Quiet on the Western Front illustrated the aspects of war that lead to post traumatic stress disorder, that many soldiers still experience today. Sometimes there is no choice of the weapons a soldier is given to fight with, but the mental toleration of the horrors of war can be obtained by

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