The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

865 Words Aug 5th, 2014 4 Pages
“Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” Dante Alighieri. Hope is an anodyne. In times of war many soldiers require a buffer to alleviate the pain of witnessing the horrors of the war zone reality. This may manifest as emotional baggage, a reoccurring theme in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. Emotional baggage transcends the physical weight it manifests that was in the soldier’s packs. Emotional baggage can manifest as something intangible, like an obsession, or take on physical weight and mass, like something that gives comfort simply by having it on one’s person. However, there comes a time when the emotional baggage must be shrugged off if one is to move forward and onward in one’s life. O’Brien uses the reoccurring theme emotional baggage in his novel “The Things They Carried” to show not only how some soldiers utilized it in an attempt to buffer themselves from the front line, but how some put faith in the symbolism of they carried, and how some come to the realization that they must shrug off some of this distracting emotional baggage if they were to carry on.
Daydreams are a defense mechanism of the psyche to escape a high stress reality. In “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien uses daydreams as a manifestation of emotional baggage in First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, whom has become obsessed with Martha, a girl with whom he corresponds. “On occasion he would yell at his men to spread out the column, to keep their eyes open, but then he would slip away into…
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