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Tim O'Brien's Captivating and Life-Changing Story The Things They Carried

Decent Essays
“The Things They Carried” is a short verisimilitude story. It was written by Tim O’Brien, who is a Vietnam veteran. He never dreamed it would have been such a captivating and life changing story that it has become. Tim O’Brien introduces us to life during the Vietnam War. He captures the feelings of each soldier as they were in the battle field. We are involved in their dreams, fears, and the ghosts that haunted them. These were some of the things they carried. “First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha” (O'Brien, 1990). This is how we are introduced to Cross. He is a young soldier that is responsible for his platoon. He is only 22 years old. He carries his love for a young lady by the name of Martha. He also…show more content…
This was one less burden he had to carry, but the other 16 had this burden. He also carried a ghost. Dave Jensen, we are introduced to him as a hygiene fanatic. He carried a “toothbrush, dental floss, and several hotel-size bars of soap he’d stolen on R&R in Sydney, Australia” (O'Brien, 1990). He also carried extra socks and foot powder. Jensen also carried vitamins for night sight. He carried a rabbit’s foot for luck. He also carried a ghost. Ted Lavender was scared and carried many things to keep himself calm. He carried tranquilizers and dope. He also carried extra ammunitions because of his fear. Lavender ended up being the biggest weight that the others had to carry. His death affected each of them in different ways. Rat Kiley was the platoon medic. He carried comic books and a “canvas satchel filled with morphine and plasma and malaria tablets and surgical tape” (O'Brien, 1990). He carried all the things that would be needed for combat injuries. There was nothing he could do for Ted Lavender, except to pronounce him dead. He also carried a ghost. Kiowa is introduced as a devout Baptist and as an Indian. He carried his New Testament Bible that was given to him by his father. “Kiowa also carried his grandmother’s distrust of the white man and his grandfather’s old hunting hatchet” (O'Brien, 1990). Kiowa also carried the vision of Ted Lavender being shot. He repeated the moment in his mind endlessly. He carried the guilt of not being able to
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