In Tim O’Brian’s book, The Things They Carried, he tells the story of Tim who serves in the Vietnam war and is immersed in a war filled with death. O’Brian through his theme of death helps create a story that illustrates the horrors of war, and shows how soldiers carried death both physically and psychologically. For instance, O’Brian conveys how closely war and death are associated together. On page 77, O’Brian writes, “At its core, perhaps, war is just another name for death, and yet any soldier will tell you, if he tells the truth, that proximity to death brings with it corresponding proximity to life” (77). This quote illustrates, how by coming close to dying, one can appreciate life that much more. By experiencing how it feels to almost …show more content…
If war and death are closely associated, then it shows how soldiers in the war must have not only been in situations where they could die, but also that in the war, many people suffered and died. War couldn’t be death, if there weren’t a plethora of causalities. This shows how death is physical. While the quote is quite literary, the implicit meaning is that there were thousands of people dying, and that there were many bodies that had to be carried to safe territory, to the hospital and ultimately to their graves. O’Brian implements the theme of death to quantify the number of those who suffered and have their lives in the Vietnam war. The other way soldiers were affected was through psychological trauma which can be seen on page 130 when O’Brian writes, “"He was slim, dead, almost dainty young man of about twenty. He lay with one leg bent beneath him, his jaw in his throat, his face neither expressive nor inexpressive. One eye was shot. The other was a star-shaped hole."(130) The images of seeing a dismembered and bloodied man, would definitely have a lasting affect on a soldier’s psychological well being.
In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien explores the contrast between who we are and what we do, especially in “Ambush” and “The Ghost Soldiers”. In these stories, O’Brien becomes separated from his own actions and makes choices that contradict what he knows to be his personal morals and values, demonstrating how the emotional toll of war can separate a person from their “true” self. In “Ambush” (assuming the story is true), O’Brien recounts a time when he took the life of a young Vietnamese soldier who didn’t see O’Brien as he walked along a trail. O’Brien describes how the man posed no real threat to him, but something drove him to throw a grenade onto the trail.
Peter Matsumoto AP English Literature Mrs. Nellon 9/15/15 The Things They Carried Analysis Question 4 The buffalo incident is perhaps one of the, if not the, most memorable sequence of events in the entirety of the novel, as its inhumanely grotesque and uncomfortably relatable style of storytelling highlights the questions of loss, truth, and morality inherent throughout the book, condensing into three short pages the strongest argument the novel has to offer: the nature of truth. According to O’Brien, “A true war story is never moral” (65).
Death was Taboo. The word for getting killed was “wasted”. When you hit a Bouncing Betty and it blows you to bits, you get wasted” (O’Brien 136). In order to maintain a “normal” life, the soldiers had to mentally transform their thoughts on death
The Things They Carried Second hand sources is the only way adolescents of this age are able to uncover the stories about what happened in Vietnam in 1955. The Things They Carried consists of Tim O’Brien’s recollection of the Vietnam War. The book explains the importance of keeping these memories alive, even if it’s not the exact truth. Characters are shown as they were during the war and the materials and memories they carried everywhere with them.
Literature review of “The Things they Carried” and “The White Heron.” The Things They Carried This is a collection of stories given by different narrators about their times and experiences as members of a platoon group of soldiers during the Vietnam War. There are at least three main narrators of the stories in the book, the author Tim O’Brien, Mitchell Sanders and Bob Kiley.
Ty Martinez The Things They Carried Essay Dr. Ball 4/19/23 The Vietnam War was a complex and controversial conflict that lasted for over a decade and had significant impacts on both the United States and Vietnam. The United States involvement was seen as needed by some and hated by others.
The things they carried is a novel by Tim O’Brien. About the Vietnam war. About the lives of people going there. It’s a collection of war stories. Some of them true, some of the untrue and that’s the main topic that’ll be discussed in this paper.
Metafiction Analysis Tim O' Brien's complex analysis throughout The Things They Carried mutes questions yet to be answered. Many believe O' Brien wrote "another war story" or a novel described as a "biomythography". There is an explanation for Tim's writing to be a unique style of metafiction and concentrated on the author and his fictional characters. Metafiction is when the story inspects the components of fiction such as the author questioning naturalism. The powerful structure and techniques provided in the story should have created readers to think outside the box; "It wasn't a war story.
A college student has just received some very troubling news. His mother was involved in a serious accident and is now under critical condition in the hospital. The student, knowing that he never had good relations with his family in the past, does not want to go visit his mom in the hospital because he not only is very busy during the next few days, but also does not think that it is worth the time off as he is more than 1,000 miles away from home. However, on the other hand, the student’s best friends are all pressuring him to go visit his mom. Pondering in the dormitory room for several hours, the student has many things to consider.
The Things They Carried The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien tells the story of soldiers during the time of the Vietnam War. Each of the characters in the story bear tangible things that have a deeper symbolic meaning to each of the individuals. The most prominent of all of the soldiers tales was that of Kiowa: he carried both his grandfather 's hatchet and a bible, each of these objects held a special significance.
In the chapter when he describes the man he kills, he talks about the state of the dead body by saying, “His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, his other eye was a star-shaped hole…the skin at his left cheek was peeled back in three ragged strips, his right cheek was smooth and hairless, there was a butterfly on his chin, his neck was open to the spinal cord and the blood there was thick and shiny and it was this wound that had killed him” (O’Brien Chapter 11). This brutal and horrifying imagery displays an irrefutable element of truth to O’Brien’s writing. Not only does this imagery highlight the truth to his writing, but it also sheds light on the brutal truth about the war in Vietnam. By using imagery as such a strong rhetorical device in his writing, he gives the average person a taste of just how barbaric and cruel Vietnam felt for the people who experience the war first hand on either side of the fighting. Tim O’Brien gives a very detailed and intense description of his time fighting in Vietnam during their war with America.
“That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future ... Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story” (36). The Things They Carried is a captivating novel that gives an inside look at the life of a soldier in the Vietnam War through the personal stories of the author, Tim O’Brien . Having been in the middle of war, O’Brien has personal experiences to back up his opinion about the war.
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.
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.