The True Nature Of War In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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Author Tim O’Brien, in his novel The Things They Carried, indicates the mental, emotional, and physical changes they go through due to the Vietnam War. The novel shows the obligation and burden the soldier’s go through to perform their duties, despite their own personal beliefs and experiences. O’Brien’s purpose is to illustrate the moral dilemma and internal struggle soldier’s experience in order to survive the true nature of war, as well as the fear and obligation that they have to cope with throughout their time spent at war. War forced the soldier’s morality to be stripped from their beliefs in order to perform their duties, causing soldiers moral dilemma. The chapter “How To Tell A True War Story” clearly illustrates the values and principles …show more content…

In the chapter “On The Rainy River” the troops develop many fears because they belief that they will have to give themselves up to perform their duty. They are afraid of the people that could possibly turn into. O’Brien explains, “I sometimes felt the fear spreading inside me like weeds...I imagine myself doing things I could not do- changing an enemy position, taking aim at another human being” (O’Brien 42). The young soldier finds himself imaging what he will go through and the actions he will take. He could almost feel the fear spread inside his body as it takes over him. He imagines killing people against his belief and his humanity. This reveals that it never ‘died’ that feeling of himself grew; it was never ending. He feels obligated to do what he is told or to follow his own beliefs. His mind is not at ease, he is conflicted. The narrator claims that “It was a moral split. I couldn’t make up my mind. I feared the war, yes, but I also feared exile” (O’Brien 42). He is truly afraid and scared of what actions he might have to take; also fearing his life back home because a loss of respect he might gain from his friends and family, which is what could tear him

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