No one returns from war the same person who went. War opens an unbridgeable gap between soldiers and civilians. There’s no truth in war—just each soldier’s experience. “You can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil” (from “How to Tell a True War Story,” in O’Brien’s story collection “The Things They Carried”). Irony in modern American war literature takes many forms, and all risk the overfamiliarity that transforms style into cliché.
Through centuries of great wars and battles, history has displayed brave men and women who have fought for their countries. These audacious people have helped propel countries for the greater good. However, the weight and responsibility, of the war, takes a heavy toll on soldiers that is often overlooked. Tim O’Brien, author of the novel The Things They Carried, records his stories, and the stories of his fellow soldiers during the war. However, three of these soldiers are affected in an outlandish way.
Ted Engelmann describes in his article “Who Are Our Fathers?” his own post-war experience, “I can honestly say that I was in an angry fog as a result of the war. I could function, but I had little direction or purpose. For several years I was very angry and could not talk to anyone about my feelings” (165). After experiencing combat there is a lot of trauma and ill effects to cope with.
These master works of war torn fiction, allow the reader to experience the impact war infuses on soldiers and citizens alike. Through powerful narration, these stories reveal how their characters are impacted physically, emotionally and psychologically by the war that surrounds
During the Vietnam War the soldiers, whether or not they wanted to be there, many of them developed mental illnesses. The things they would experience would cause burdens on them for the rest of their lives. “Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers until he was shot in the head outside the village of Than Khe in mid-April.” (The Things They Carried) Lavender carried tranquilizers until he died, because he was scared.
Through out the book titled The Things They Carried, many characters are brought upon us, who are portrayed differently from the beginning of the book to the end of the book. The author shows or portrays what can truly happen to humans as they go through time in war. War will change their character’s thoughts and appearance to the reader just by the way they are shown in the book. An example of a character that has changed throughout the book is Norman Bowker. At the beginning of the story, Norman Bowker was a young soldier who seems to be like anyone who has not experienced war themselves.
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. What is a true war story? How can it be told? this is a quite complicated question with a quite complex response(s). a true war story is something beyond generalizing, that could be true and untrue at a time. There is not only one type of truth, but happening and seeming truths, and not the man could know the real truth in a war story.
During the Battle of the Bulge, soldiers fought in “grueling physical and psychological conditions” that led to persistent struggles after the war with remembering these conditions (Intro: Battle of the Bulge). Many veterans refer to the immediate effects of returning as the “shock of peace” (Childers). However, despite these widespread mental health problems, there were few psychiatrists to treat these soldiers as well as a “cultural ethos” that discouraged discussing emotions, especially among men (Childers). When soldiers returned home, they often had difficulty with finances.
Do you ever wonder the way you would react after returning home from the war? Would you be the same person you were when you left, would your outlook on life completely be changed, would life as you once remembered it be the same?
Being in war for a long time can make you numb to the people dying around you. People that just got there will most likely be paranoid or have anxiety. Those symptoms show posttraumatic stress disorder. The flashbacks, guilty feelings and nightmares are what happens a lot of times while there in war. Flashing back to the same place over and over would be the worst nights ever.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in The Things They Carried During the turbulent times of the Vietnam War, thousands of young men entered the warzone and came face-to-face with unimaginable scenes of death, destruction, and turmoil. While some perished in the dense Asian jungles, others returned to American soil and were forced to confront their lingering combat trauma. Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried provides distinct instances of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and reveals the psychological trauma felt by soldiers in the Vietnam War. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD for short, is the most common mental illness affecting soldiers both on and off the battlefield.
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.
“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.
When faced with war soldiers change, for better or for worse. Modern culture celebrates the glory of patriotic sacrifice. However, this celebration often leaves out the gritty details and trauma of violence behind war and the way it affects people. Homer’s The Odyssey and William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives clearly discuss these details. Both debate the long-awaited return of warriors that went off to fight a war and the way the experience changes the protagonists.
Literary analysis America’s war heroes all have the same stories to tell but different tales. Prescribed with the same coloring page to fill in, and use their methods and colors to bring the image to life. This is the writing style and tactic used by Tim O’Brien in his novel, “The Things They Carried”. Steven Kaplan’s short story criticism, The Undying Certainty of the Narrator in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, provides the audience with an understanding of O’Brien’s techniques used to share “true war” stories of the Vietnam War. Kaplan explains the multitude of stories shared in each of the individual characters, narration and concepts derived from their personal experiences while serving active combat duty during the Vietnam War,