At this point in the book O’Brien has decided he is going to the war. Not really for himself but for the people in his town. He doesn’t want the embarrassment of not going, he doesn 't want people looking down on him. He ultimately does it for everybody but himself. It comes from the story “On the rainy river”.
In the short story, “The Man I Killed,” O’Brien focuses on this to show that everyone fighting in a war has a story. He spends the story describing the man he killed and searching for justification of his actions. He carries around guilt with him because of it, and his fellow soldiers try to help him justify and come to terms with his action by saying things like, “You want to trade places with him? Turn it all upside down= you want that? I mean, be honest,” (126) and “Tim, it’s a war.
At first Mr. O’ Brien wants to flee to Canada even though he knows that he won’t be able to see his family again or that he won’t be able to come back to the states. However, when he is only twenty yards away from the border, he can’t risk the embarrassment from his hometown and the whole universe, so he goes to the war. During the war, Mr. O’ Brien figures out that the only reason that any of his fellow soldiers are at the war was so their prestige wouldn’t go down. He goes so far as to say, “Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to… They died so as not to die of embarrassment.
Courage The dictionary definition of courage is “strength in the face of pain of grief.” Throughout the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, the common idea of courage is expressed with different meanings as each character interprets courage differently.
O’Brien tells the readers about him reflecting back twenty years ago, he wonders if running away from the war were just events that happened in another dimension, he pictures himself writing a letter to his parents: “I’m finishing up a letter to my Parents that tells what I'm about to do and why I'm doing it and how sorry I am that I’d never found the courage to talk to them about it”(O’Brien 80). Even twenty years after his running from the war, O’Brien still feels sorry for not finding the courage to tell his parents about his decision of escaping to Canada to start a new life. O’Brien presented his outlook that even if someone was not directly involved in the war, this event had impacted them indirectly, for instance, how a person’s reaction to the war can create regret for important friends and
The Vietnam War leaves a legacy of moral confusion with each and every soldier who serves. Soldiers are fighting for a cause they do not necessarily believe in, killing people who do not necessarily deserve it, and watching their brothers die beside them. Tim O’Briens’ book, The Things They Carried, illustrates the soldiers struggle to define morality throughout the confusion of the war. On the Rainy River, Tim O’Brien faces what he feels is his moral obligation to answer his country’s call and fight in Vietnam, and a personal moral issue with the reason for the war.
1.Guilt is one of the worst things accompanied by death. Guilt plays a huge role throughout the novel. In war, men are constantly dying and these men all become best friends with one another. For example, Norman Bowker felt a tremendous amount of quilt towards the death of Kiowa.
This quote is from O’Brien the author himself admitting that he couldn’t be brave enough to leave his country and that he was embarrassed of what he was trying to do. So, he told himself that he would go to war, kill and maybe die because of the embarrassment idea he made. The idea of this quote is to explain what he feeling/confusion between what he’d do. Should he go to war? Or should he leave his loved ones and country behind.?
This is evident when Mr. O’Brien says, “I would go to the war – I would kill and maybe die – because I was embarrassed not to,” (pg. 57.) In the end the author realized what he must do and went back home, so he could fight in the Vietnam
The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien uses many effective rhetorical strategies throughout. In the chapter On the Rainy River, Tim O’Brien tells the audience a story he has never told anybody. Not even his parents, siblings or wife. He narrates the events and emotions that he experienced after receiving a war draft notice during the summer of 1968. O’Brien is ashamed about how he dealt with the notice and he feels as though he is “too good” to go to war.
The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brien, illustrates the experiences of a man and his comrades throughout the war in Vietnam. Tim O’Brien actually served in the war, so he had a phenomenal background when it came to telling the true story about the war. In his novel, Tim O’Brien uses imagery to portray every necessary detail about the war and provide the reader with a true depiction of the war in Vietnam. O’Brien starts out the book by describing everything he and his comrades carry around with them during the war. Immediately once the book starts, so does his use of imagery.
This quote epitomizes the trauma caused by war. O’Brien is trying to cope, mostly through writing these war stories but has yet to put it behind him. He feels guilt, grief, and responsibility, even making up possible scenarios about the life of the man he killed and the type of person he was. This
Challenges at War Robert E. Lee once said, “What a cruel thing war is… to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors”. The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien takes place in Vietnam. He and a handful of other men experience things only one can image and hope they will never have to experience again. They learn how death among them can greatly affect them, and many others. War is not an easy task to get through and these men all had different coping methods.
Originally published in 1990, The Things They Carried is a collection of war stories that took place during the Vietnam War. Due to its accurate and honest depiction of war, it has been banned for crude language, violence, drug use, and sexual innuendo. The author, Tim O’Brien, was born in Austin, Minnesota in 1946. Due to his service in the United States military during the Vietnam War, O’Brien is able to depict the war in a more graphic, and realistic manner.
He fought a war in Vietnam that he knew nothing about, all he knew was that, “Certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons” (38). He realized that he put his life on the line for a war that is surrounded in controversy and questions. Through reading The Things They Carried, it was easy to feel connected to the characters; to feel their sorrow, confusion, and pain. O’Briens ability to make his readers feel as though they are actually there in the war zones with him is a unique ability that not every author possess.