War is only experienced by those brave enough to enter and endure the hardships of it, and is difficult to understand what it means to step foot on the battlefield and suffer through it. In the first chapter of the novel, The Things They Carried by Tim O’brien, a group of soldiers are making their way through Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and go through many physical and mental hardships. These hardships are very difficult for most people to understand, so the author addresses them. Throughout the chapter, the author is able to show the correlation between war and love through his descriptive, symbolistic lists and the character Martha, a woman loved by one of the soldiers.
In his novel, “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien paints a picture that seems very strange to those of us who have not experienced war, in his novel, “The Things They Carried.” In one part of book, Tim O’Brien describes his time with an older vietnamese man who guided them through the heavily booby-trapped jungle. While in this life-or-death situation, the platoon seemed to turn the scenario they were in into a game that was being played. A game that had the lives of men on the line. A game that was necessary for survival. But nevertheless, it was a game. The game had one simple rule that the men turned into a rhyme and that the soldiers would chant as they marched through the jungle behind the old man. “Step out of line, hit a mine; follow
How does death affect the behavior of people? Although death affects everyone's behavior differently, knowledge of one's imminent death is a main force behind behavioral changes. This knowledge causes emotions that motivate people to act in ways that they normally would not. In Tim O'Brien's 'The Things They Carried,'; the knowledge of death and its closeness causes the men in the story to alter their behavior by changing they way they display power, modifying emotions to relieve guilt, and by exhibiting different actions to ease anxiety.
Othering is the social outcasting of those who are different then the masses. This is the justification behind such events as the holocaust, segregation and assimilation. Today many books illustrate this. The book The Things They Carried,Tim O’Brian portrayed a character named Mary in the Sweetheart Song of Tra Bong. In Muas authored by Art Spiegelman the jews are othered in the most horrific way. Cristina Henriquez in her novel The Book of Unknown Americans she depicts the character Maribel is other because of her mental disability.
People carry things with them all the time on a daily basis. They might be physical, emotional or spiritual things. Some people could carry a traumatic past while others simply carry a bag of groceries into their house. The things one carries defines them as a person and brings out their qualities as well as their defects. Some people might think of those things as burdens while others see them as a way out of reality or as something to push them forward, something to believe in.
This book is an actual war story where it has numerous of stories about his experiences. But under all those harsh stories and events lies one of the most powerful forces, and that is love. Could it be that instead these stories are based on love and not war? When I say love I do not mean that they are all homosexual but rather they are best friends, battle buddies, loyal to each other. They may get into fights but they all have each others back at the end of the day and I’m going to go through three characters and how they connected with the author, Tim O’Brien.
Laurence Stern wrote, “ No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man’s mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time.” By interpreting this quote, Stern says that no one can understand what it feels like for a man to have his mind torn apart by two equivalent forces that pull him apart in opposite directions inside. There was much underlying meaning and connection from Laurence Stern’s quote and to The Things They Carried. In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien is the author as well as the character who is pulled apart by two projects: war and morals. The war in Vietnam heavily impacts each soldier causing them to yearn for
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.
There are two types of people that fight in wars; those who consider their patriotic duty an honor and those who entered the war by force. In 1990, twenty years after returning from the Vietnam War, Tim O’Brien published The Things They Carried, a disturbing and remorseful collection of short stories that gives detailed, yet fictional, accounts of the horrific events that occurred during the war. Later in 2012, after his tour of duty, Chris Kyle released American Sniper, a humble and passionate memoir that describes what Kyle had to face during his tour. While The Things They Carried utilizes symbolism and similes to inform the reader about the horrors of war, American Sniper uses flashbacks and imagery to demonstrate that some people “come alive” during the war.
"The Things They Carried" list the variety of things his fellow soldiers in the Alpha Company brought on their missions. Several of these things cannot be seen, including guilt and fear, while others are specific physical objects, including matches, morphine, M-16 rifles, and M&M's candy.
The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brein, is a story told through the eyes of members of a United States Army troop trudging their way through the Vietnamese country side and jungles during the Vietnam War. Each man has a specific job and so they carry specific belongings that they need to fulfill that job as well as a few mementos from home. These men also carry unseen baggage that is all too real to these men, their families and responsibilities back home preying on their minds, the horrors of war, and the stress of the importance of fulfilling their duties to keep then men around them alive.
In works such as the novel The Things They Carried written by Tim O’Brien and the movie Full Metal Jacket directed by Stanley Kubrick, we see the hardships soldiers had to pass through during training and the Vietnam War. As it is stated in O’Brien’s book “They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing – these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had a tangible weight” (O’Brien 20). After stating all of the things they actually carried O’Brien makes reference to them carrying emotional weight, to let the reader know that there was more to the war than fighting. They had other reasons to be there, such not wanting to be titled as cowards for not enlisting themselves in the war. In Full Metal Jacket the emotional weight they have on themselves is also visible throughout the whole movie. The emotional burden caused some of the soldiers such as Private Leonard Lawrence to enlist in the training although he clearly was unfit for the job. This resulted in an amazing turn of events since due to intrinsic motivation to not be the source of everyone’s laugh, he becomes someone completely different. At the end of the first part of the movie Pvt. Lawrence was no longer that unfit soldier we see at the beginning, he had changed to be a vicious person with a death wish. In both works we see the physical and emotional struggles soldiers had to undergo causing them to develop an
Culture teaches that men must dispense of ridiculous emotions and remain firm, following expected duties. O’Brien develops this theme of the transition from youth to manhood in his short story, “The Things They Carried.” Through the protagonist Jimmy Cross, metaphors of weight, and futile ideas of freedom, O’Brien reveals how society expects young men in transition to adulthood to let go of impractical idealism and dwell instead on the cruel reality of the world.
The story “The Things They Carried” reveals emotional and physical challenges soldiers face during the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien introduces the reader not only to the subject of war and physical exhaustion, but also to human feelings and inner struggle soldiers are going through at this war. Besides the equipment and necessary things, soldiers carried emotions which strengthen their hope of staying alive in order to continue their mission. Tim O’Brien uses female figure, Martha, to create psychological escape which distracts a young soldier, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, from the war. However, such a distraction leads to the death of a group member, Ted Lavender. The illusion of love for Martha and false hopes gradually transform into bitter feeling of guilt and the harsh reality of war. Tim O’Brien masterfully describes Jimmy Cross’ and other soldier’s experience and feelings during
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien is a short story written about the Vietnam War. The title has two meanings. The first is their duties and equipment for the war. The second, the emotional sorrows they were put through while at war. Their wants and needs, the constant worry of death were just a few of the emotional baggage they carried. During the Vietnam War, like all wars, there were hard times. Being a soldier wasn’t easy. Soldiers always see death, whether it be another soldier or an enemy. In “The Things They Carried,” Tim O’Brien explores the motivation of solders in the Vietnam War to understand their role in combat, to stay in good health, and accept the death of a fellow soldier.