There were certain items or supplies that each soldier needed to possess that aided in their survival. Other items were discretionary or optional, not entirely important for the
Jimmy Cross being the immature lieutenant is affected being responsible of his men, and carries much of the war’s burden. Every time one of Cross’s men dies, he experiences deep regrettable feelings that he should have been a better
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
Our introduction stated that in “The Things They Carried,” author Tim O’Brien tells us not directly of the soldiers of Vietnam, or the situations they find themselves in, but about the things they carry on their shoulders and in their pockets. These “things” identify the characters and bring them to life." I find that to be true as the author unfolds the stories about war and the uncommon things one carries in to war both inadvertently and on purpose. As it was noted: "Stories about war – especially today – usually emphasize heroism and supporting our troops. Yet, these are completely absent in “The Things They Carried,” again I find this to be true also. In attempting to Analyze why there is an absence of heroism and heroic acts in “The Things They Carried” I discovered that the author comes at his stories from a completely different view point and it is complex. Example: he names himself as a fictional character and a Protagonist. Although this is a fictional story it reads like a biography or a set of memory 's from the war in Vietnam, in which all the stories connect. An unnamed narrator describes in third person the thoughts and actions of Lt. Jimmy Cross, a lieutenant in the Army. Lt. Cross thoughts are of a woman named Martha, who he dated, her letters seem to serve somewhat as torture as he wonders if she feel the same way about him as he does about her, the letter give him no clue and make him wonder even more. Lt. Cross is a inexperienced, somewhat
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.
To start off, Tim O’Brien wrote about normal people being chosen for the war. They carried things that meant a lot to them. “First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey”(1). This shows that the first person introduced had left behind a pretty good life before going into war. Some people carried comic books, or items given to them by their father, “Rat Kiley carried comic books. Kiowa, a devout baptist, carried an illustrated New Testament that had been presented to him by his father, who taught Sunday school in Oklahoma City”(3). This is showing that the soldiers have items that are important to them and feel the items bring good luck. “Henry Dobbins carried his girlfriend’s pantyhose wrapped around his neck as a comforter”(9). Dobbins also uses the pantyhose as a good luck charm. But people have different views on the items they carry,
Love is a powerful force, and Lieutenant Cross sometimes gets lost in his musings while thinking of Martha. O’Brien writes: “His mind wandered. He had difficulty keeping his attention on the war. 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 daydreams, just pretending, walking barefoot along the Jersey shore, with Martha, carrying nothing.” Like any sane person in his situation, Lieutenant Cross wants to escape – to anywhere else but the war. The war brings terrible experiences – fear, death, hunger, and pain beyond imagination. The only way that Lieutenant Cross can endure these things is by escaping to an imaginary life with Martha. Although to her, he is little more than a friend, to Lieutenant Cross, Martha represents innocence, perfection, and a world free from war.
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.