A natural behaviour for humans is trying to relate to other’s points of view, one thing most people do not realize is that when you actually experience the event, you will have a different point of view versus trying to relate to it. Tim O’Brien, the author of The Things They Carried, had a completely different point of view on war than others who just watched it on the news. The main character and the stories in the book resemble Tim O'Brien's life in many ways, one of which is how Tim and the main character both oppose the war but other’s point of view about the war makes them conform and go to war anyways. .The Vietnam war, which is the basis of this book, had two opposing groups like all wars. The first was the opposition to U.S …show more content…
He states that “[He] would go to war- [He] would kill and maybe die- because [He] was embarrassed” (O’Brien 57). He soon realized that he should have escaped when he had the chance because it was better than experiencing the horrors and traumatic experiences that soldiers go through. Sometimes what society thinks can get the best of you and lead you to do things that are against your beliefs and morals. This is what Tim is trying to say through the book to the readers who might find themselves in similar situations.
O’Brien always questioned the idea of “enemies”. Throughout the book he questioned in many ways and asked why were they enemies. What have they done to make them enemies, he sought for answers to his questions and eventually justified them by “if I don't kill them then they will kill me”.He was afraid of both killing, and dying but he knew that if he didn’t kill then he himself would be dead. These experiences and suppression of ideas are what led O’Brien’s to write The Things They Carried. In real life, Tim O'Brien feared the war and wrote this book to persuade others and to plant an idea in their head about the horrors that they should not want to suffer. Tim portrays his fear of the war by sharing his experiences as stories. Tim portrays many of his fears
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In this chapter he faces the splitting conflict between the guilt of avoiding the war and the guilt of killing other humans, resulting in him to feel like a coward in both decisions. Due to his fear of the law, he chose to go to war, because he knew societal pressures controlled a moral influence that overpowered his own aversion to the war. At the end he says, “I was a coward. I went to the war,” (O’Brien 61) indicating that because of the guilt and rejection he would face if he didn’t go to the war, he made the decision even though he thought it wasn’t the right thing to do.
and I was afraid to look”(180). He shows that even though he was at war he lost people which affected him when he was young. Tim says in the book that loss is just a part of war, and its always going to be like that. In the end of the chapter “Speaking of courage” Tim O'Brien talks about his friend Kiowa. “He would have explained how his friend Kiowa slipped away that night beneath the dark swampy field.
Tim O’Brien’s book “The Things They Carried” epitomizes the degradation of morals that war produces. This interpretation is personified in the characters who gradually blur the line dividing right and wrong as the motives for war itself become unclear. The morality of soldiers and the purpose of war are tied also to the truth the soldiers must tell themselves in order to participate in the gruesome and random killing which is falsely justified by the U.S government. The lack of purpose in the Vietnam War permanently altered the soldier’s perspective of how to react to situations and in most cases they turned to violence to express their frustration.
In the chapter “On The Rainy River” this plays a plays a huge role in Tim’s ultimate decision to go into the war after being drafted instead of fleeing the country. Tim felt the pressure from everyone around him to fight for his country even if he didn’t agree with the war itself, Tim decided “I would go to war - I would kill and maybe die - because I was embarrassed not to.” (O’Brien 57). When he puts it that way it seems ridiculous but he knew the people around him would never see him the same way if he didn’t.
War is an objective obstacle that at most times can be avoided. Conversely, when it rears its ugly head it becomes bothersome and ends up dividing countries and families. One of the most memorable wars will be the Vietnam War. In “The Things They Carried,” Tim O'Brien uses contrast and contradictions to reveal the character’s feeling and the effect of war to bring about the theme of peace and war.
In The Things They Carried, Tim O 'Brien uses a variety of stories to explain the life experiences that he and many of his fellow soldiers endured during a single year in Vietnam. He tells these stories in a way that we can connect to these experiences. We never spent time in Vietnam, but O 'Brien wants us to feel like we were there. O 'Brien uses what he calls "story-truth" to write these stories. The outcome or the people may be different but the feeling is real; that 's the truth in the story, the feeling. He wants us to feel what he felt, see what he saw. He doesn 't just tell us what was happening exactly; he tells a fictional story that conveys the same emotion. He plays with the truth, that 's the reason why this book is a work of
The Things They Carried offered a unique and personal look into the life of one soldier’s experience. It showed how the war held obligations to its soldiers and expectations for each of the men to follow. The Things They Carried also showed a side of war that was not always seen in other documents and accounts such as Tim O’Brien thoughts and feelings during the war. However, many of the things O’Brien stated throughout his book is very similar to the experiences shared by men in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Moreover, despite some similarities, each war is unique and have their own distinctive causes and effects that have solidified their importance in American history. When it comes to war, it seems that most experiences
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien expresses the importance of a story-truth, as opposed to a happening-truth by use of literary elements in his writing. The novel is about war and the guilt it leaves on everyone involved in the war. Story-truth is not exactly what happened, but uses part of the truth and part made up in order to express the truth of what emotion was felt, which an important thematic element in the novel is. The three literary devices he uses to express this are diction, imagery, juxtaposition, and hyperbole. All of these elements allow the reader to identify emotion that is expressed in each story, as though that were the complete truth.
In “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien uses this story as a coping mechanism; to tell part of his stories and others that are fiction from the Vietnamese War. This is shown by using a fictions character’s voice, deeper meaning in what soldier’s carried, motivation in decision making, telling a war story, becoming a new person and the outcome of a war in one person. Tim O’ Brien uses a psychological approach to tell his sorrows, and some happiness from his stories from the war. Each part, each story is supposed to represent a deeper meaning on how O’Brien dealt, and will deal with his past. In war, a way to
Tim says he wants to run away from the war in fear of breaking his morals. He feels that the war goes against everything that he stands for, “If you support a war, if you think its worth the price, that’s fine, but you have to put your own precious fluids on the line” (O’Brien 2). Tim does not think he should have to fight in a war that he is against. Even though Tim seems to live by his morals, some of his actions are ironic. Tim is a pacifist, yet he watches pigs get killed everyday. He works in a slaughterhouse, taking out the blot clots from dead pigs by shooting the carcass with a water gun. For someone who doesn’t believe in fighting or killing, his job is pretty gruesome. Tim has an internal struggle deciding whether or not to go to the war, “My conscience told me to run, but some irrational and powerful force was resisting, like a weight pushing me toward the war. What it came down to, stupidly, was a sense of shame. Hot, stupid shame.” (6). Tim knows that if he does not go to the war he will feel guilty. He will not be able to handle the amount of “shame” he would feel if he ran away. The “shame” he talks about comes from, “All those eyes on me---the town, the whole universe---and I couldn’t risk the embarrassment. It was as if there were an audience to my life” (10). Tim thinks that other people will judge him for not going to the war. The pressure of having his family and friends disapprove of his actions is what
Tim is in the war for most of the story but goes back to before he was in the war and after the end of the war. During his time before the war he was a newly graduated college student. He was drafted during that time and began to freak out and tried to escape it by going to the border of Canada. While leaving he was explaining why he had so much fear and that war was stupid and didn’t require him to be in it if he didn’t want to. Here is the only time in which Tim is against war because of his fear to be part of something he was never prepared for. He’s taken on a boat to Canada to fish and there he realizes that if he doesn’t go to war he would be a coward to his entire
The Things They Carried is a story based on the experiences of young American soldiers fighting during the Vietnam War. The story begins giving you insight into the thoughts of the soldiers, describing to you what they humped along with them through their walk in the deep jungle of Vietnam. Some of those things were necessities P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing-gum, candy, cigarettes, salt tablets (81) and some were objects to give them hope. Throughout the story you follow a young platoon of men on their journey through the jungle never knowing which day could be the last day of their lives. The author, Tim O’Brien, using very accurate description and detail gives us
In the novel, The Things They Carried, the war stories of the characters are nothing like the glamour-filled heroic tales. Men had enlisted in the Vietnam war in honor of serving their country despite the uncertain outcomes. The silent truths of the war remain hidden until resurfaced through trauma. The narrator, Tim O’Brien shows the readers how the results of war can be unsettling and scar the soldiers forever. Though the soldiers have survived physically, mentally they are dead. Every time a death takes place in the story, guilt takes over the soldiers rational thoughts. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien clarifies the misconceptions of war being honorable to portray the truth of the Vietnam War and how it has psychologically self-destructive
“The things they carried” was published around 1990 and the author was Tim O’Brien, he was also involved in the story as one of the main characters. He basically involved himself in the book, so he could imagine himself fighting and living the war days. How would you feel if you were involved in the Vietnam War away from home and surrounded with your enemies? Also having friends die next to you could be a difficult thing to go through, especially when you end up writing a letter to their family explaining that he/she won’t be able to come home this time because of a tragedy. Ask yourself this, “What would be going through your mind if you didn’t want to be part of the War, but yet your only other choice was to simply run away and start a new life?”
The Vietnam War. A war that many Americans believed unfair and unnecessary. “Why am I being sent off to fight in a war I don’t know anything about? Will I ever return again?” Many draftees asked themselves these questions hoping to find comfort in the answers. But there was little to no hope, and they knew it. They were being drafted and they could do absolutely nothing about it, only hope that at the end they would be returning to the enlightened faces of their loved ones, something that not many Vietnam soldiers expected to ever see again. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, portrays his experience in the war along with his fellow squad members, in their fight for survival against the Vietcong. In The Things They Carried, each