The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

918 Words4 Pages
After reading “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, describes a captivating, up close story about soldiers marching in the Vietnam War. The story relates to the title by telling us the things the men carried. We can see what material items they carry from duty to duty, but we also visualize the emotional baggage that lies heavy in their hearts; this emotional weight is much heavier than their material items. It is important to recognize this aspect because what they carry in their hearts create both hope and fear; they carry hope for their survival, but they carry fear of possible death. Hope and fear are obvious in the story when O’Brien explains what the men in this story carry through the war. From “pocket knives...matches, sewing kits...and two or three canteens of water” to the three standard weapons—the M-60, M-16, and M-79” we see that they carry much weight on their backs. O’Brien describes to his readers how much weight these men tolerate on their backs to illustrate to us how horrible the situation feels. On their feet they carried jungle boots-2.1 pounds, each man carried a steel- centered, nylon-covered flak jacket, which weighed 6.7 pounds. They took turns humping a 28-pound mine detector, and Ted Lavender carried the starlight scope, which weighed 6.3 pounds with its aluminum carrying case. These men need these materials as they go through the war; they live on the move, never staying long in one spot, so they have to carry all their necessities
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