preview

Thesis For The Things They Carried

Good Essays
The True Weight of War “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, brings to light the psychological impact of what soldiers go through during times of war. We learn that the effects of traumatic events weigh heavier on the minds of men than all of the provisions and equipment they shouldered. Wartime truly tests the human body and and mind, to the point where some men return home completely destroyed. Some soldiers have been driven to the point of mentally altering reality in order to survive day to day. An indefinite number of men became numb to the deaths of their comrades, and yet secretly desired to die and bring a conclusion to their misery. Over all, this story allows us to observe changes within the mentalities of army officers. First, the trauma of living in a war zone can add a significant amount of intangible weight into someone’s life. In “The Things They Carried,” we discover that Cross’s men “carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die (443).” Given that the majority of humans have experienced some form of trauma, we can understand how some men were driven to suicide and others into…show more content…
In the case of Ted Lavender, once he was pronounced dead the men stripped him of his things while waiting for the chopper to pick up his body, and sat “smoking the dead man 's dope (436).” Furthermore, when they drew numbers to determine who scouted out the tunnels, they “always felt the luck of the draw” when they escaped the duty (438). This is because they feared death, but were always embarrassed to admit it. For the soldiers, dishonor was worse than anything else they faced. “They crawled into tunnels and… advanced under fire,” and refused to give up and simply “fall to the ground” all to save their own pride (443). Their drive to live on during battle did not come from courage, but their fear to be known as cowards
Get Access