The Things They Carried Passage Analysis

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There is always a devil and angel on your shoulders mentally playing tug of war with your mind, swaying you between bad and good, and it blinds you to logical thinking. This usually happens during times of crisis or when things go awry, but trying to do the right thing will often make you do the worst possible thing, causing regret later on. In the novel, The Things They Carried, the soldiers during the Vietnam War would carry many items with them in war in a backpack, but also many would carry emotional burdens, as we see with character Tim O’Brien. He struggles with internal chaos and turmoil after fleeing the draft, killing a man in war, and lying to his daughter after those events. Showing how sometimes, war will bring out an unfamiliar duality that we must struggle with in order to choose what is right or wrong.…show more content…
He reminisces about how he was almost dodged the draft and was “feeling the shame” of running ( O’Brien 37). Instead of feeling pride to serve his country, he is instead filled with dread and cowardice after seeing that he has gotten a draft letter, which in turn causes him to drive to Canada, but stops in a nearby lodge. Here he meets Elroy, owner of the lodge and archetypal mentor. Tim has the moral dilemma of how “intellect” (49) had came “against emotion” (49). This shows moral ambiguity for Tim because intellect coming up against emotion means that he had his heart versus his mind, an internal battle with himself to do what is right or what feels
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