Things They Carried Symbolism Analysis

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Over twenty years after his service in Vietnam was concluded, Tim O’Brien wrote The Things They Carried (1990). Tim O’Brien is a veteran as well as an author of memoirs, short stories, and war stories. O’Brien grew up an all-American child, after high school he went onto college and received his BA in Political Science. In 1968 O’Brien was drafted in to the United States Army and was then sent to fight in the Vietnam War. Twenty-two years after his service, O’Brien wrote the book The Things They Carried. This book is compiled of short stories based off his time in Vietnam but also takes place back in his comrade’s hometowns. The main characters in the book are his war pals that are enlisted with him under 1st Lt. Jimmy Cross. Throughout the book O’Brien uses symbolism, imagery, and the setting of the story to show the extensive emotional and psychological pain of warfare and what it can do to humans.…show more content…
The soldiers carried supplies required for their ultimate survival, “The things they carried were largely determined by necessity.” (565) Some of the other things they carried with them were not necessities but rather for their own comforting purposes. Some of the men wore crosses around their necks, some carried bibles, pictures of their loved ones, letters they have received and some of them also carried drugs to help sedate their agony. The personal items gave the soldiers a sort of crutch to fall back onto when the war became too much for them to handle. These things helped them get through the horrific experiences of war in some way or
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