The Things They Carried Essay

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Symbolism in stories is dependent on how the author writes, the title, and the characters. Titles in literature are very important to the symbolism of a story an example of this is Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”. As the story goes on it shows not only the literal meaning of what they carried but also symbolically the burdens that they had mentally. In the literal sense O’Brien talks about what different members of a platoon in Vietnam carried. This helps him to move to a more symbolic sense at the end of the story. He starts by talking about necessities and slowly moves on to what they carried to remind them that there was a world out side of the war. “Among the necessities or near necessities were p-38 can openers, pocket…show more content…
In the conversation between Sanders and Dobbins they talk about the moral of finding the VC solider. The moral turns out to be that there is no moral, showing that they knew that they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. They were fighting an enemy much bigger than the Viet Cong they were fighting their own minds, their own fears, their own burdens. “They carried the land itself--- Vietnam, the place, the soil--- a powdery orange-red dust…” This quote shows exactly how heavy a burden the war was. It wasn’t a battle it was a march, an endless march from one village to the next doing what they had to. Patting old men and children down. To hump something was to carry it but it implied beyond the literal meaning. It implied so much more than just carrying something, it meant a burden you could hump a tent or you could hump your memories, your love; it meant hardship and that’s all they felt. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried the heaviest burden out of anyone, the burden of love. Cross-knew that Martha didn’t feel the same way about him though, but he still dreamed of it. “He would imagine romantic camping trips into the White Mountains in New Hampshire.” Nothing can be harder than loving someone that doesn’t feel the same way about you, this must have made it even harder getting letters that were “mostly chatty, elusive on the matter of love.” Sometimes his love for

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