Tim O 'Brien's The Things They Carried'

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The Lives of the Dead. In October of 2012 I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. I walked down the ramp examining the wall and the list of names on it. As we searched for the name of a friend of my Grandfather, an army veteran that served with him in Vietnam. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of despair. It is one thing to read the number of casualties, it is another to look at the names of the men we lost. It has been over 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War, yet the pain of this conflict is as real for those who experienced it Today as it was when they were there. If time heals all wounds, then how much will pass before atonement has been achieved? The book The Things They Carried is one man’s struggle to come to terms with the pain he experienced and caused. If you asked someone what the topic of the book is they would probably tell you that it is about war. They would be mistaken, The things they carried is a book about love and loss. Across the entire book the stories “The Things They …show more content…

It also details the death of one of his fellow soldiers, Tim Lavender. Killed while separated from the rest of the men by a sniper. His death is taken harshly by the platoon’s leader a young Lieutenant Cross. Cross was distracted by personnel effects given to him by a woman he cared for named Martha back in the United States. While it is unlikely that Lt. Cross could have saved Lavender even without the personnel effects, he blames himself for the loss of one of his men. His bitter experience, a combination of self-hatred and sorrow at the loss of a comrade hardens him. As a form of atonement, he destroys all the letters and pictures he has of Martha. Lt. Cross re-dedicates himself to his current predicament allowing no distractions to enable the loss of another of his

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