Fear is a term used to show and express one’s stressful emotions which are provoked by threat of immediate danger, evil, or pain; fear is the threat that can be real or imagined, and a feeling or condition of being afraid. The men in the Vietnam War felt this fear every single day and second they were on foot in Vietnam. War is an incredible mystery that many civilians and everyday ordinary people will never understand. The fear of death lurking around every corner, knowing that any second your life can end in a flash. The fact you are killing and ending someone else’s life for a reason you may fully not understand is truly a terrible thought to imagine. Realizing there was nowhere to hide or run, not knowing when death will be coming is the true fear of it all that many wanted not to experience firsthand. In the novel The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction, Tim O’Brien unfolds the story of young men, himself, and the unforgiving truth about the draft, who among many resisted and dodged the Vietnam War are told through experiences and stories in the novel. Vietnam War goes down to be one of the most traumatic wars in American history. Among many of the American citizens have argued about the real reason and cause for the start of the Vietnam War. John Prados states what he believes to be the true cause of the Vietnam War was done solely by the hands of one important president. “President John F. Kennedy got the United States into the Vietnam War by aggressively pursuing
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Tim O’ Brien wants the reader to feel what he felt going through this nightmare. The device he uses is imagery and this is important because the reader can feel like they are a part of the war. He gives an account of the nightmare : “His entrenching tool like an ax, slashing.” I can imagine an angry lumber jack cutting deep into tree, which in his case represented his emotional feelings for the love he had for Martha. Martha was a young, beautiful girl with whom he was so in love, but Martha only saw Lieutenant Cross as a good friend. When you are trying to understand the emotions of a person is difficult because you are never in their shoes. O’Brien writes, “He sat at the bottom of his fox hole and wept.” I imagine a baby crawling back into the womb inside his mother stomach and he weeping like a baby. This image seems as if he was hiding from something for which he was not ready / that he feared or appeared unprepared.
The Vietnam War was a long conflict lasting between 1955 to 1975 between the communist North and the democratic south with help from the United States. More than 3 million people, including 58,000 American troops were killed in the conflict. Tim O 'brien 's short story “The Things They Carried” follows a platoon named alpha company during the peak of the Vietnam war led by first lieutenant Jimmy Cross who is very charismatic but in his mind he is unsure how to lead his squad because his mind tends to wander to a thought of a girl back home. Throughout the story he has overcome with emotions and guilt because he believes he his the reason for some of his squadmates death. “The Things They Carried” Embodies the hardship, reality, and price/toll of war, ultimately Tim O’brien writes this masterpiece as not of a war story, but as a love story and how that love changed a man.
In life, everyone has obligations. People have responsibilities they have to tend to everyday, but sometimes there are passions of love or revenge that makes one stop thinking of what their true responsibilities are. For soldiers fighting in war, their responsibility is to take care of their men and make sure no one gets hurt. They fight for their country and protect the men who have become their family. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross went against his honor to protect his men. He let his responsibly go, which caused one of the men in his group to die. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross confronts the demands of the love for Martha, which conflicts with his responsibility in the war, which affects him and the story.
Imagine one day you receive a mail from the government that you been draft to go a war at a different country. How would you feel if you know that purpose of this war is unreasonable in any senses? Angry, anxious or even confused. Vietnam War was “a personal failure on a national scale” (Hochgesang). There are many videos, documents and movies about the Vietnam War that show different angles of the Vietnam veterans’ experience and how the war really changes their life. In “The Things They Carried” written by Tim O’Brien, he argues about how the Vietnam War affect the soldiers in many ways, not only physically, but more important is the psychological effects before, during and after the war.
Following orders, digging a foxhole, carrying a twenty-three pound M-60 assault weapon, or chasing Charlie does not erase the virtues previously programmed. Typically related to ethics and the distinction between right and wrong, morality exists throughout The Things They Carried in many forms. In the book, even the most deranged characters manage to be kind to one another. When dealing with death, characters experiment with ways to respect and remember the dead. In foreign Vietnam, the soldiers deal with cultural differences and work to find a middle ground. In the book, Tim O’Brien illustrates how morality manages to survive amidst the gore of the Vietnam War.
Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” is based on what soldiers went through facing war, and what they carried physically as well as emotionally. All of this pressure from war can cause and has caused post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the soldiers. “PTSD is the development of a set of symptoms in the aftermath of psychologically distressing event—an event “outside the range of normal human experience.”” (Roberts 3). PTSD is a disorder that can happen to anyone, but many see it diagnosed in war veterans, from the effects of war. This disorder can ranges from outburst to solitude and can affect each person in a different way. Some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are re-experiencing or flashbacks,
The short story “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien used many different types of literary devices. Imagery is used to illustrate the war in a descriptive way. Figurative and literal language is used to describe the things that the soldiers carried with them; physically and emotionally. Some of the things that the soldiers carried with them were symbols of luck. Personification was used when mentioning these good lucks symbols and it was also used to describe the dead. Alliteration was used in the short story to emphasize the sound of how fast life could end while being at war.
The Things They Carried is a war story based on the Vietnam War. One story the author, Tim O 'Brien tells is the story of Mary Anne, Mark Fossie’s childhood sweetheart. Mary Anne’s curiosity allows her to acquire knowledge about Vietnam’s culture and language. She wants to learn about Vietnam, the war and what they do. She also isn’t afraid and is eager to aid the casualties. One night she goes out on an ambition with the Green Berets, and the next day she and Fossie become engaged. Eventually she disappears for 3 weeks only to arrive at the special forces hut, and when seen Mary Anne is wearing the same outfit as before, but with a necklace of human tongues around her neck. She says what happened isn’t bad. In the end, she crossed to the other side never coming back, becoming one with the land. Mary Anne symbolizes war soldiers going through the war getting consumed by the darkness of the war.
In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien uses the art of fabricating stories as a coping mechanism. Trying to distinguish the difference between fictional and factual stories is a challenge in this book, but literal truth cannot capture the real violence that the soldiers dealt with in Vietnam, only “story truth” can. He explains, “If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made victim of a very old and terrible lie.” (O’Brien 65). The novel illustrates that storytelling is a way to keep the dead alive, even if it may not be a true story.
The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, transports the reader into the minds of veterans of the Vietnam conflict. The Vietnam War dramatically changed Tim O’Brien and his comrades, making their return home a turbulent and difficult transition. The study, titled, The War at Home: Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service on Post-War Household Stability, uses the draft lottery as a “natural experiment” on the general male population. The purpose of the NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) study is to determine the psychological effects of the Vietnam War on its veterans. In order to do this, they tested four conditions, marital stability, residential stability, housing tenure, and extended family living. However, it
Many authors use storytelling as a vehicle to convey the immortality of past selves and those who have passed to not only in their piece of literature but in their life as an author. In Tim O’Brien’s work of fiction The Things They Carried, through his final chapter “The Lives of the Dead,” O 'Brien conveys that writing is a matter of survival since, the powers of storytelling can ensure the immortality of all those who were significant in his life. Through their immortality, O’Brien has the ability to save himself with a simple story. Through snippets of main plot event of other chapters, O’Brien speaks to the fact the dead have not actually left; they are gone physically, but not spiritually or emotionally. They live on in memories as Linda lives on in the memories of O’Brien and as many of his war buddies live on through his stories. He can revive them and bring them back to the world through his writings and through these emotions or events he experienced with them and with their deaths can make them immortal. Through the reminiscent stories of Linda and O’Brien’s war companions and himself, O’Brien conveys that storytelling allows people to reanimate others who have died and past selves to create an immortality of humans.
In the story The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien didn’t mention anything about traditional war heroes. I think this was a great idea, because there are no traditional war heroes. A traditional war hero is someone who is fearless and someone who can’t be harmed mentally or emotionally. But in The Things They Carried the soldiers out on the front lines were emotionally and physically scarred. Tim O’Brien didn’t write about traditional war heroes, O’Brien wrote about normal people, people with different views on the Vietnam war, and how the war affected these people.
Every one of us has experienced a strong emotional fear, and in that moment of stress, we learn more about who we are. The short story “The Things They Carried”, by Tim O’Brien, follows the lives of soldiers trying to survive the emotional and physical stresses of the Vietnam War. Throughout the story, O’Brien juxtaposes the physical weight of the supplies that the soldiers must carry with the immeasurable weight of their intense emotional experiences. The theme of “The Things They Carried” is the burden of fear, which O’Brien portrays through the counter-weight of objects the soldiers cling to for consolation and escape. Some men turn to objects that remind them of love, no matter how unlikely it is that they are loved back. Other men
Death defines life; it has the ability to reinvent the living for better or worse. “The Things They Carried”, by Tim O’Brien, provides a non-linear, semi-fictitious account of the Vietnam War that poignantly depicts the complicated relationship between life and death. His account breathes subtle vitality and realism into the lingering presence of the dead, intimating that the memories they impart have as profound an impact as the living.
In the novel, The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien there is an ambiguity assigned to the life of a soldier in the Vietnam war, an ambiguity that represents no clear moral victor, no clear heroes, and seemingly no end. In the movie, Platoon, written and directed by Oliver Stone, the same ambiguity is depicted, with no clear moral direction, no clear heroes, and no clear resolution. In the short story, “How to Tell a True War Story,” O’Brien talks in great detail about how a true war story, and not some reimagining, “is never moral” (O’Brien) and “cannot be believed” (O’Brien). According to O’Brien, the movie Platoon will qualify as a true war story because it is not moral, hard to believe, and has no clear resolution.