Respect In Tim O 'Brien's The Things They Carried'

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The Things They Carried Thematic Essay “Special honor or respect shown publicly,” is the definition of homage and homage is the biggest motivator in Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried. He wrote this book to pay homage to the men who died for our country during his fight in Vietnam. It is a theme that carries throughout this collection of stories. The Things They Carried is a way to see what these soldiers went through and who they were before passing away. They were O’Brien’s friends during the fight and they were all but numbers after the war, or distant memories. The themes of the novel are the importance of paying homage friends and honoring their sacrifice are prevalent throughout. One example that describes how O’Brien paid homage to his friends resides in Norman Bowker, one of O’Brien’s close friends. Norman Bowker was not as outgoing as many other men in O'Brien's platoon, but Bowker did have a good personality and he was a good friend. After the war Bowker and O’Brien actually kept in touch with each other by occasionally writing letters. After Bowker returned home we learn that he did not feel like he belonged in society. “I received a long, disjointed letter in which Bowker described the problem of finding a meaningful use for his life …show more content…

He paid homage to those friends because some of them passed away fighting and O’Brien wanted to show what made them special, especially because the men who fought and died in Vietnam often came home disrespected and ignored. Every story helped to shine light on the men who lost the fight. O’Brien went into incredible detail about what exactly made each man in his platoon special, especially if there was a story to lay to rest. By sharing these stories, themes of homage and sacrifice were explored as O’Brien hoped to explain what their friendship was and why it was so

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