The Vietnam War In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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More often than not, soldiers and people in a war zone will be affected by the war one way or another. Either that being during or after the war, one could have a negative or positive outlook on the war, but one single event could automatically change that person's behavior. During 1957-1973, the longest war in the United States history took place, the Vietnam War. Many soldiers have lost their lives in this battle, but the ones that survived have significantly changed from this event. In the novel “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’brien, includes many characters in his book, that were all affected by the war; each in a different way, Mary Anne, Rat Kiley and Norman Bowker were each affected by the vietnam war.
Mary Anne significantly …show more content…

Rat Kiley was the medic of the group, and he cared very much about trying to save any ones live that was injured. Whenever someone was injured Rat Kiley was sarcastic about the issue, due to wanting to lighten the situation; “ ‘Easy does it,’ he told me, ‘just a side wound, no problem unless you’re pregnant” (p. 189). The first time Tim O’brien was shot Rat Kiley joked about pregnancy in order to soothe the mood. Rat was always there for anyone who needed it and truly cared for everyone in his platoon. Once Curt Lemon’s died by being blown up from a booby trap, that was the one event that made Rat’s personality switch from caring to carefree. Rat Kiley and Curt Lemon were playing catch together when Curt stepped on the booby trap. Rat Kiley took the responsibility of why Curt Lemon died. Rat Kiley after setting up to stay the night in an abandoned village Kiley came across a baby water buffalo. Rat Kiley attempted to give food to the water buffalo but the water buffalo did not want any. The action of the water buffalo triggered Rat Kiley to shoot it; “ It wasn’t to kill; it was to hurt… but there wasn’t a great deal of pity for the water buffalo. Curt Lemon was dead. Rat Kiley had lost his best friend in the world” (p.78-79). Rat Kiley killed the baby water buffalo in order transfer his emotions. Rat Kiley …show more content…

Norman could really only have an internal conversation hoping his father being proud of himself. When the time came for Norman to go back home after the war, to see his father he not in a rush to explain why he never received the silver star. The fact of Norman riding around the lake several times was his way of reliving the event of losing his friend, Kiowa, in the sewage field shows how Norman blamed himself for the reason Kiowa died; he felt that he could have saved Kiowa if it was not for the stench. Norman Bowker did not feel like there was anybody in his town that he could open up and express his experiences in Vietnam. This caused him to feel like there was no escape from his own thoughts of war, causing him to feel like he does not belong. Norman ended up living with his parents and always trying to find another job, this made him feel like the town did not care about him. Norman had a schedule of going to the YMCA in the afternoons to play pickup basketball. Norman Bowker wrote a seventeen page note on his feelings he confirmed that; “ ‘The thing is,’ he wrote, ‘there’s no place to go. Not just in this lousy little town. In general. My life, I mean... “ (p.156). Norman felt that after Kiowa’s death, he was dead as well. With Norman feeling the guilt and grief of Kiowa, he ended up hanging himself in the YMCA Locker Room. This story

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