The Things They Carried by Tim Obrien Dialectic Journal

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The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien 1 | Among the necessities or near-necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy, cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water. (pg. 2) | Most of these items I understand that they have to have them. There are a few though that I don’t think are a necessity or a near-necessity, like the candy or cigarettes. Those are two things that aren’t necessary in the war. | 2 | As a first lieutenant and platoon leader, Jimmy Cross carried a compass, maps, code books, binoculars, and a .45-caliber pistol that weighed 2.9…show more content…
| 12 | Courage, I seemed to think, comes to us in finite quantities, like an inheritance, and by being frugal and stashing it away and letting it earn interest, we steadily increase our moral capital in preparation for the day when the account must be drawn down.(pg. 38) | This is a cool quote because I never thought of comparing courage and an inheritance gaining interest, but the way O’Brien compares them makes it interesting. | 13 | A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. (pg. 65) | I believe this is true. If a person wants to tell their own war story, they are just telling it, they are not expecting you to find a moral; they just want you to listen. | 14 | 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 the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue.(pg.65) | I understand what O’Brien is saying. You aren’t supposed to like a war story, if anything they should make you sad. | 15 | In any war story, but especially a true one, it’s difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen. (pg. 67) | In any situation it is hard to separate what really happened from what you thought happened. | 16 | In a true war story, if there’s a moral at all, it’s

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