Vinne Virk Miss Kopietz/Block E Data Sheet The Things They Carried 22 Aug 2016 Data Sheet The Things They Carried Title: The Things They Carried Author: Tim O’Brien Date of Publication: 1990 Genre: Fiction Historical Information about the period of publication (cite source): On August 2, 1990, the Iraqi army invaded Kuwait.
The Things They Carried is an ugly book. The themes and topics throughout the book are gruesome and horrific, but Tim O’Brien writes about them in such a way that portrays the Vietnam War as almost beautiful. In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, the chapter, “The Man I Killed” is an example of a terrific piece of writing because it utilizes thoughtful symbolism, graphic imagery, and conflict to portray the Vietnam War in an accurate way. “The Man I Killed” uses symbols, imagery, and conflict to tell an accurate war story. First, O’Brien uses symbolism throughout the book, but specifically in “The Man I Killed,” O’Brien writes about the symbol of a butterfly.
The Things They Carried is a book written by Tim O’Brien. Ultimately, it is a fictitious story about the intricate lives of the members of a platoon that fought in the Vietnam War. The members of Alpha Company, the platoon, are all vastly different, yet they are bound together by an unbreakable bond that comes with fighting side by side with one another. Throughout the novel, they each experience life changing events, which often alters their sense of self and results in a reconstructed personality. In the end, The Things They Carried is a wonderful narrative that shows its readers the complexity of personal identity, and how things like love, the values of society, and politics can all play a part in the shaping of one’s character.
Periodically, he would speak about his nights of watch, where his mind would run away with him. But, the scariest aspect of these seemingly outrageous pictures of death and ambush by Viets in the night is that they were not far from the reaches of reality. In the dead of night, O’Brien said that he couldn’t help but think that “we were fooling ourselves to think that we remained the hunters, in control of the war and our destinies” and that “all the enemy need do was steal up on our rear” (95). More than once, he mentions that his sense of courage was a sort of lost cause, and that hope for bravery was pointless in such a place so devoid of mercy. Even now, after all that he endured, Tim seems to have learned something from war: “it may not make a man of you, but it teaches you that manhood is not something to scoff”
If I Die in a Combat Zone, author Tim O'Brien argued that the Vietnam War was evil through his depictions of the harmful actions against the Vietnamese, first hand experiences of the soldiers, and lastly, his opinion throughout the war. O’Brien demonstrates the mutilation and murders of the innocent Vietnamese people by explaining how the soldiers belittled the orientals. The soldiers captured three old men and decided to tie them up (130). These old men were treated poorly by the soldiers because they were being gagged and restrained. Most of the company wasn’t concerned about the old men’s physical condition, since they were prisoners.
O’brien explains that soldiers are not brave, but embarrassed not be. He also explains that war isn’t honorable or just, it's gruesome and scary. O’brien talks about how dying in war isn't glorious, he states “You know you're about to die. And it's not a movie and you aren't a hero and all you can do is whimper and wait”(22). This again adds to idea that war isn't what it's portrayed to be, but a scary and realistic death.
The Things They Carried contained a collection of stories that were produced by Tim O’Brien to show the life of the American soldiers in the Vietnam War. He used parables to create his characters and utilized the roles of the characters to reflect the real war stories. He described several kinds of materials that soldiers carried in the stories. The emotional loads were the most important ideas that the soldiers should deal with at some points during the war. Tim O’Brien’s characters in The Things They Carried had shared some similarities from the actual war.
Tim O’Brien was involved in the Vietnam war and was part of the platoon he writes about. In the chapter ‘In the field’ he tells the story through Lieutenant Jimmy Cross's eyes, he explains how this boy was with one of his good friends, Kiowa, when they were walking through the shit field late at night, “They had huddled together under their ponchos,the rain cold and steady,the water rising to their knees...and for awhile they talked about their families and hometowns”
Answering the call to serve causes enough moral conflict and killing for the war only adds to it. Tim O’Brien struggles to make sense of his thoughts after killing a Vietnamese man while outside of My Khe. O’Brien writes “The Man I Killed” detailing how the man’s disfigured appearance looks repetitively, and dreaming about what the man’s life must of been like before his death. Afterwards O’Brien reflects saying, “It was entirely automatic. I did not hate the young man; I did not see him as the enemy…”
"They varied the sky. The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay, all of it, they carried gravity." -O 'Brien. The Things They Carried by Tim O 'Brien, is about how war can destroy you, with an horrible end always. O 'Brien use the symbolism to show that war can destroy your humanity and innocence.
The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brien, illustrates the experiences of a man and his comrades throughout the war in Vietnam. Tim O’Brien actually served in the war, so he had a phenomenal background when it came to telling the true story about the war. In his novel, Tim O’Brien uses imagery to portray every necessary detail about the war and provide the reader with a true depiction of the war in Vietnam. O’Brien starts out the book by describing everything he and his comrades carry around with them during the war. Immediately once the book starts, so does his use of imagery.
Some were very cold-hearted towards the woman, while others felt bad that they injured a woman (ch.12). He also illustrates how war can change people through Major Callicles, after the My Lai massacre the major becomes what he hated the most, and drunken alcoholic, in his drunkenness he makes rash decisions (ch 22). O’Brien continues to emphasize the fact that the soldiers hated the enemy they didn’t know. He didn’t see the Vietnamese soldiers as the enemy, rather he saw them as people in his position;
Originally published in 1990, The Things They Carried is a collection of war stories that took place during the Vietnam War. Due to its accurate and honest depiction of war, it has been banned for crude language, violence, drug use, and sexual innuendo. The author, Tim O’Brien, was born in Austin, Minnesota in 1946. Due to his service in the United States military during the Vietnam War, O’Brien is able to depict the war in a more graphic, and realistic manner.
He fought a war in Vietnam that he knew nothing about, all he knew was that, “Certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons” (38). He realized that he put his life on the line for a war that is surrounded in controversy and questions. Through reading The Things They Carried, it was easy to feel connected to the characters; to feel their sorrow, confusion, and pain. O’Briens ability to make his readers feel as though they are actually there in the war zones with him is a unique ability that not every author possess.
The guilt of murdering the young Vietnamese soldier hit his brains, where his emotions and thought divide into two paths. One part of his brain convinced him that he had no otherwise other than killing the man because it was a war where anything can happen. The next part of O’Brien mind told him that he had killed an innocent young soul, who could have become a scholar one