The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien Essay

1103 Words5 Pages
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

“The Things They Carried” was a story about soldiers caught in the confusion of the Vietnam War. There are a lot of apparent themes that are dealt with when writing a story about war, especially about death. I enjoyed reading this story; however there were some things about it that I was concerned about. I would like to discuss the author’s style of writing, his meaning of the title “The Things They Carried” and the way the author and his characters deal with death. This story was written with a variety of styles, and it was in a non-traditional format. The main style seems to be a third person, limited omniscient story. However, this story also includes elements of flashback. In a traditional
…show more content…
Either your audience is liberal and understands the use of the words, or your audience is conservative, and they are offended and don’t finish reading. However, I also believe that the words are put in not for the vulgarity, but for an authentication of what was going on in the war. They were not used in every dialogue, or every sentence, but in places where you might “normally” hear them.

All of these different elements together provided for a very dynamic story. I did pick up on the central themes in the story. One thing that was apparent was Lt. Jimmy Cross, and his use of his “girlfriend” Martha to deal with the war. Another is the death of one comrade, Ted Lavender, and how it affected the soldiers. And then there is the title, “The Things They Carried”, in which the author takes time to emphasize throughout the story. I felt that author also tried to mislead readers by the title, because the story is really not about the ‘Things”. In the story there are large passages in which the author describes, to the pound, the weight of the physical things that each of the soldiers carried. In each passage however, there was one statement or something that didn’t fit into the physical things category.

The soldiers were also sectioned off into stereotypes, which I also believe was on purpose. For example “Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried
Get Access