War In Mary Anne Bell's The Things They Carried

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War is hell. It has a lasting effect on all who endure through its pain. The constant trauma of wartime damages the psyche of it participants. To many, when they return home, it never feels like home. They are too adept to living life in crisis. When the boys return home, they are never quite the same… they may physically be home from the war. But for some mentally, it is harder to be home from the war than to be in the war itself. Literature tells these stories. “The Things They Carried”, the story of Mary Anne Bell paints a vivid picture of how war can completely alter the psychology of a person. Mary Anne Bell comes to Vietnam following her boyfriend Mark Fossie who was enlisted as a medical assistant. When she steps off the huey, she is described as “A tall big boned…show more content…
Norman Bowker is the epitome of how wartime can be harmful even after the war is over. Norman was a Vietnam Veteran who returned home in the book to find his life to be nothing like it was just years previous when he departed Bowker returned to find his girlfriend had married another man, his father was silent and disappointed in Bowkers lack of War Medals. Bowker found his home town changed and he missed the excitement of the War. Bowker also has trouble talking about the war. He reaches out to an old War friend who fails him. This lead to Bowker committing suicide. Though He didn’t die in battle, the war killed Bowker. The story of Norman Bowker is all too familiar.(The Things They Carried). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder affects not only veterans themselves, but their families. In a study called The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS), “Veterans with higher levels of war-related trauma and posttraumatic symptomatology had poorer family functioning and greater domestic violence than those without trauma. The simple, hard truth is that some soldiers just can’t mentally return from the
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