The Things They Carried Essay

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In The Things They Carried, every soldier carried something different; different equipment, different memories, and different guilt. Their equipment would change as they travelled through the book, but one common thing that the soldiers would all be forced to carry is the weight of losing one of their own. Though it might weight differently from man to man, changing depending on how well they knew the soldier, it is a weight they all felt. Though several soldiers died in The Things They Carried, the loss of a soldier named Kiowa was different from the others. But why? What impact did Kiowa have in The Things They Carried, and why did his death affect the other characters differently than the previous deaths in the novel? To better…show more content…
“Shrugging, Kiowa pulled off his boots. He wanted to say more, just to lighten up his sleep, but instead he opened his New Testament and arranged it beneath his head as a pillow. The fog made things seem hollow and unattached. He tried not to think about Ted Lavender, but then he was thinking how fast it was, no drama, down and dead, and how it was hard to feel anything except surprise. It seemed unchristian. He wished he could find some great sadness, or even anger, but the emotion wasn’t there and he couldn’t make it happen. Mostly he felt pleased to be alive. He liked the smell of the New Testament under his cheek, the leather and ink and paper and glue, whatever the chemicals were. He liked hearing the sounds of night. Even his fatigue, it felt fine, the stiff muscles and the prickly awareness of his own body, a floating feeling. He enjoyed not being dead. Lying there, Kiowa admired Lieutenant Jimmy Cross’s capacity for grief. He wanted to share the man’s pain, he wanted to care as Jimmy Cross cared. And yet when he closed his eyes, all he could think was Boom-down, and all he could feel was the pleasure of having his boots off and the fog curling in around him and the damp soil and the Bible smells and the plush comfort of night. (O’Brien, 17-18)”
Kiowa grows to become a sort of provider of stability and some means of morality for the group, helping through

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