In Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”, O’Brien created several allusions that each character endured during the Vietnam War. Throughout the story were vast representations of the things the soldiers carried both mentally and physically. The things they carried symbolized their individual roles internally and externally. In addition to the symbolism, imagination was a focal theme that stood out amongst the characters. This particular theme played a role as the silent killer amongst Lt. Cross and the platoon both individually and collectively as a group. The theme of imagination created an in depth look of how the war was perceived through each character which helped emphasize their thoughts from an emotional standpoint of being young men out at war.
Written by author Tim O’Brien after his own experience in Vietnam, “The Things They Carried” is a short story that introduces the reader to the experiences of soldiers away at war. O’Brien uses potent metaphors with a third person narrator to shape each character. In doing so, the reader is able to sympathize with the internal and external struggles the men endure. These symbolic comparisons often give even the smallest details great literary weight, due to their dual meanings. The symbolism in “The Things They Carried” guides the reader through the complex development of characters by establishing their humanity during the inhumane circumstance of war, articulating what the men need for emotional and spiritual survival, and by revealing
In Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”, O’Brien created several allusions that each character endured during the Vietnam War. Throughout the story were vast representations of the things soldiers carried both mentally and physically. The things they carried symbolized their individual roles internally and externally. In addition to symbolism, imagination was a focal theme that stood out amongst the characters. This particular theme played a role as the silent killer amongst Lt. Cross and the platoon both individually and collectively as a group. The theme of imagination created an in depth look of how the war was perceived through each character which helped emphasize their thoughts from an emotional stand point of being young men out at war.
Through The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien moves beyond the horror of fighting in the Vietnam War to examine with sensitivity and insight the nature of courage and fear. Included, is a collection of interrelated stories. A few of the stories are brutal, while others are flawed, blurring the distinction between fact and fiction. All the stories, however, deal with one platoon. Some are about the wartime experiences of soldiers, and others are about a 43-year-old writer reminiscing about his platoon’s experiences. In the beginning chapter, O’Brien rambles about the items the soldiers carry into battle, ranging from can openers, pocketknives, and mosquito repellent o
The Things They Carried is a collection of stories about the Vietnam War that the author, Tim O’Brien, uses to convey his experiences and feelings about the war. The book is filled with stories about the men of Alpha Company and their lives in Vietnam and afterwards back in the United States. O’Brien captures the reader with graphic descriptions of the war that make one feel as if they were in Vietnam. The characters are unique and the reader feels sadness and compassion for them by the end of the novel. To O’Brien the novel is not only a compilation of stories, but also a release of the fears, sadness, and anger that he has felt because of the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War began in 1954, consisting of many extensive, horrific years of battle that seemed to create more harm to the United States and its soldiers rather than to North Vietnam. The 500,000 United States military personnel returned home with the loss of the war and the loss of their friends on their minds. Although the physical and emotional experiences that the men went through is unfathomable, Tim O’Brien does a great job portraying what life as a soldier was truly like in the Vietnam War. In the book The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien depicts the unstable emotional and psychological condition of the American soldiers through the symbolism of their belongings and personal anecdotes from their lives.
In the story The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien shows the reader a sense of depressing love. O’Brien uses the physical weight carried by the soldiers as a motif for the emotional burdens they must endure while fighting in Vietnam. A love of which is portrayed in the story with a soldier loving a woman more than his fellow soldiers. But this woman does not love him in the same way. O’Brien uses many literary devices throughout the story, and shall be covered in this text. The tone in the text is very prevalent, and O’Brien gives the reader easy access to find and understand them.
While the Vietnam War was a complex political pursuit that lasted only a few years, the impact of the war on millions of soldiers and civilians extended for many years beyond its termination. Soldiers killed or were killed; those who survived suffered from physical wounds or were plagued by PTSD from being wounded, watching their platoon mates die violently or dealing with the moral implications of their own violence on enemy fighters. Inspired by his experiences in the war, Tim O’Brien, a former soldier, wrote The Things They Carried, a collection of fictional and true war stories that embody the
The Things They Carried is an autobiographical novel written by Tim O’Brien that details his time as a soldier in the Vietnam War. Considered to be “the best work of fiction ever written about Vietnam, some even think it is the best about war,” (Greenya 1). The stories that are contained within the novel talk about themes such as loss, burdens, and the horrifying truths of the Vietnam War, the first war to take place during a more ‘modern’ era, as the tragedies of the war could be broadcasted through television. Much like many soldiers that fought in the war, Tim O’Brien was forced to face through many tragedies. Due to this, the book is used to preserve those who have died in Tim O’Brien’s life. The two chapters within The Things They Carried develop the importance of O’Brien’s coping mechanism. In The Little Brown Reader, ‘Snapshot: Lost Lives of Women’ by Amy Tan contains a similar structure to the two chapters of O’Brien’s novel. I believe that Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is similar to Amy Tan’s ‘Snapshot: Lost Lives of Women in the structure detailing the past and the idea of keeping people’s lives preserved through the art of storytelling, O’Brien’s last two chapters are essential in showing this similarity.
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
Most authors who write about war stories write vividly; this is the same with Tim O’Brien as he describes the lives of the soldiers by using his own experiences as knowledge. In his short story “The Things They Carried” he skillfully reveals realistic scenes that portray psychological, physical and mental burdens carried by every soldier. He illustrates these burdens by discussing the weights that the soldiers carry, their psychological stress and the mental stress they have to undergo as each of them endure the harshness and ambiguity of the Vietnam War. One question we have to ask ourselves is if the three kinds of burdens carried by the soldier’s are equal in size? “As if in slow motion, frame by frame, the world would take on the old
In "The Things They Carried," O'Brien made reference to the Vietnam war that was closely associated with the physical, psychological, and emotional weight the soldiers beared. The overall method of presentation of this story incorporated many different outlooks on the things the soldiers carried, dealt with, and were forced to adapt to. In addition to this, O'Brien showed us the many reasons why and how the soldiers posessed these things individually and collectively and how they were associated directly and indirectly. The strong historical content in "The Things They Carried" helped emphasize the focus of the story and establish a clearer understanding of details in the
In the story ‘’The Things They Carried’’, Tim O ‘Brien shows the life of a platoon of young American soldiers during the Vietnam War. Even though they meet many kinds of uncertainties about nervous atmosphere at a war zone or fear of other peers’ laughing, the young soldiers do not often talk with each other and hide their fear and fantasy. Although sometimes Cross and Lavender are seemed to cope with their difficulties, there still exists some uncertainties in their minds. Moreover, Lavender and Cross are still distracted by uncertainties. Cross spend much time determining virginity and truth of love of Martha so he does not care about his fellow soldiers constantly. In term of
Tim O’Brien, in his collection of short stories called “The things they carried”, develops the theme of soldiers ‘carrying’ many burdens throughout their lives. Through his persona, also named Tim O’Brien, O’Brien contradicts the stereotypical reason as to why the men joined the war. Jimmy Cross explores the unwanted burden placed on a Lieutenant of the platoon member’s responsibility. Further O’Brien explores the affect of the Vietnam War on the soldiers on their wellbeing through Norman Bowker, who suicides as he is unable to deal with the memories and the pressure faced due to the war. the emotional burden from the memories, physical weight ‘humped’ by them during the war and the mental pressures enforced upon them are the different
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’ Brien is a story in which the author details the possessions the emotions and the memories which were carried by the soldiers into the Vietnam War. The accuracy fact fullness and the attention to details make this story a truthful experience, riding on a thin line between fiction and a reality. It embodies the transformation that a soldier in a war zone undergoes. The author being a war veteran himself captures the events in a vivid manner. The two works of literature serve as an authentic and knowledgeable depiction of men fighting a war. They not only carry the weight of weaponry and ammunitions and supplies needed but also the weight of the struggle and the violent deaths that surround them which weigh heavier than the items they carried. The outcomes of war for the side that wins or loses results in devastation of the people but the soldiers are the ones who carry with them the memories of pain and struggle long after the war ends. Every war is partly fought on the ground and partly in the mind of soldiers.