The Things They Carried - Themes Essay

970 Words 4 Pages
     In Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, numerous themes are illustrated by the author. Through the portrayal of a number of characters, Tim O’Brien suggests that to adapt to Vietnam is not always more difficult than to revert back to the lives they once knew. Correspondingly the theme of change is omnipresent throughout the novel, specifically in the depiction of numerous characters.
     Tim O’Brien is drafted one month after graduating from Macalester College to fight a war he hated. Tim O’Brien believed he was above the war, and as a result pursued the alternative of escaping across the border to Canada. This understandable act is what Tim O’Brien considers an
…show more content…
Rat Kiley’s metamorphosis occurs when the platoon switches to a routine of night movement

for 2 weeks. Rat is unable to adjust to this night life, and begins to act eccentric towards the surrounding environment. Rat Kiley’s hallucinations eventually leads to his demise when he shoots himself in the foot to escape the war.
          He shot himself… Nobody blamed him. Before the chopper came, there                was time for goodbyes. Lieutenant Cross went over and said he’d vouch                that it was an accident… Everyone stood in a little circle, feeling bad                about it, trying to cheer him up with bullshit about the great night life in                Japan.      (O’Brien 251)
Rat Kiley’s company understood what happened, and no one could impugn his reason for doing so. All the troops had their own demons to take care of, Rat Kiley just dealt with his in a different way.
     Mary Anne, The sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong, experiences perhaps the most radical form of change in the novel. Marry Anne, the innocent, curious, typical-American
Open Document