Things They Carried By Tim O Brien: An Analysis

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“They carried the common secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it could never be put down, it required perfect balance and perfect posture.” (O’Brien 77) Tim O’Brien clearly demonstrates to the reader that one of the most difficult burdens to bear is being a coward because even though carrying over fifty pounds of equipment is hard on the body physically cowardice is among the worst pain because you can never put that feeling down for even a second to relieve the pain. The novel The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, intends to show the reader how the platoons soldier’s cowardice and dread can effect them in the form of regret later in …show more content…

“Out on the playground, during recess, Nick would creep up behind her [Linda] and make a grab for the cap, almost yanking it off, then scampering away...I should’ve stepped in; fourth grade is no excuse.” (O’Brien 221) Tim O’Brien is ackloweldeging the fact that he was a coward when he needed to be a hero for Linda. Tim O’Brien including this story in the book might be him saying a belated I’m sorry that he wasn’t able to show courage to his young love who desperately needed him in such a troubling time of her very short life, and that he still regrets that he didn’t aid her by just standing and watching these events unfold.. This is also him saying that there is no reason that the soldiers should have succumbed to their cowardly thoughts and feelings. As Joanne McCarthy says courage became an idea to the soldiers with no concrete meaning or definition. (“The Things They Carried” by Joanne McCarthy Par. 7) This describes the warped thoughts that the platoon's soldiers experienced which lead them to become the scared and cowardly soldiers which they would never

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