The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, is a book of a collection of stories about what O'Brien encountered during his time in the Vietnam War. In many of the stories they, talk about things they had and good things that they want back. One of the stories that I connected closely to was “Stocking”. “No sweat, the magic doesn't go away” (112). In the end, they carry on with the memories of something good or major to them, but all good things must come to an end, at least that's what i’ve been told. Similar to an experience I had not too long ago, I had a best friend from kindergarten, then the relationship went south when we got older. But the fact that we had so many good times together when we were younger is something that won't be forgotten or hated.
What is a childhood memento that most people keep? Among the many toys or gifts, security blankets are one of the most common objects that are stored when people grow out of them. The one thing that was given to me when I was young still holds dear to me: my baby blanket. My blanket has been with me throughout my whole life. Although it seems like an ordinary object, it came from an important figure in my life, and having it with me constantly caused me to almost lose it, but luckily I was able to find it, and I still have it to this day.
People hold on to pieces of jewelry, furniture, and other symbolic collectables that is passed through generations. These things can remind a person of a loved one that is seen as being priceless.
Everywhere I go, I carry with me a tangible piece of my past as both a reminder of who I was, as well as who I have become. Although it seems trivial, this item is my beanie. In an effort to reestablish my image as I entered middle school I grew out my hair started to wear a beanie to school every day. After reaching the end of my middle school experience, I cut my hair (mostly out of desperation in the summer heat). Although my hair was gone, the beanie seemed to stick around. I believe this is because it takes me back to a simpler time in my life, but also serves as a reminder of how much I’ve grown and matured since then. I have no regrets, and it is fully my decision to carry this item, but it brings me comfort because of who I was back then versus who I am now. It only weighs a few ounces, and it weighs down my heart about as much as it weighs down my head: not much.
I personally relate well to a specific portion of this story. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried a pebble with him everywhere he went. It may seem absurd to carry a pebble while at war… what’s the use, right? However, he carried more than just a pebble; he carried his love for Martha through that seemingly useless rock. I too carried an object like that pebble: something seemingly useless. I acquired a green wrist band while with my good friend. This was one of the last times I spoke to her. From that day on, I wore the green wrist band every minute of every hour for two years. Although I cared very much for her, the feelings only went in one direction. Every time I looked down at the green band it reminded me of her. One day the green wrist band finally snapped… but I wasn’t sad. When it gave out it was almost like closure for me. When the small weight of that band was lifted from my wrist, an even larger weight was lifted from my heart. I looked down at the fractured band, smiled, and threw it
The picture book being analysed is ‘My Two Blankets’ by Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood. This book was awarded the ‘children’s book council of Australia’ Picture Book of the year for 2015.
Life can come to a stop sometimes when a person is weighed down by burdens. For some people it may be too difficult to live in the present while constantly thinking about the past and because of this are unable to move on. These can be burdens that they have been carrying for a long time or even recently. In the short story, “The Things They Carried,”Tim O’Brien uses symbolism, ambiguity, and a non-linear narrative structure to illustrate emotional burdens.
There are only a few possessions that I tote around that are of extra significance in my life. Though certain items you might find in my wallet and backpack, the others you will find on my body. As you read the story, “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, each soldier not only carried physical items while in Vietnam, but they also carried psychological burdens as well.” (O’Brien, 108-119). We all carry things psychologically even if we don’t realize it. In my wallet you would find two family photos, one from Christmas 2013 of my oldest son grasping my hand and my ex-husband’s hand. The other is a current family photo. You will also find four charms engraved with the words sister, courage, faith, and love. The final item I carry with myself physically are my tattoos. Presently, I only have two, both of which denote significant periods in my life. I will continue to add more when I can.
There are many items that I have in my possession that make me feel accomplished or an item that I use just daily. There is however, some items that have absolutely no idea why I have, and continue to hold on to them. For example, I still have a karate trophy that I really don’t pride, a computer hard drive that should have been thrown away, and some empty boxes of Run Gum. It’s either I don’t want it or I don’t need it, and these three items I really should not have, but will continue to possess.
The things I carry is not as meaningful as the things that I keep safe. Physically I carry a phone and it means something for me because it’s direct contact with my friends and family with the push of a button. Not only that, but I am able to see the pictures and videos of loved ones that passed away or are so far away that I can’t see them. My phone is the quickest way for anyone to reach me at any time and it is very meaningful for me to talk to the people I love. Something that I have, but I don’t carry is a gold chain that my mother gave me. When it comes to objects, it is the most meaningful of all. The reason why it is so meaningful for me is because the backstory that went goes with it. My mom is very important to me and she raised me
Carrying over to the story, the things they carried were simply memoirs of their lives. Simple representations, whether it be memories or pantyhose, we cherish our past when we are faced with the possibility that we may not make
Something that has been extremely important to me and still is really important to me is my Winnie Pooh blanket. Now you may think why is a teenager still need a blanket to sleep with? Well I have a good reason. This blanket reminds me of my father when I was little. My dad got me this blanket when he was deployed in South Korea, he got this for me because I was little and he loved to bring back presents, since he regretted missing most of my life. My dad has left several times to go serve his country, and I hated it because I missed my dad growing up. I love this blanket right now, even though now my dad is home right now. I don't really know when he will be gone again. This blanket also brings back memories to me, of my younger days when
Richard Rogers’ song “Favorite Things” talks about how the narrator’s favorite things make them feel better when times aren’t the best. People often have a memento from childhood that they keep throughout their life, such as a stuffed animal or a tea set. These possessions represent a memory or event from one’s life -whether it be from early on or from later in life- which in turn remind them of the feelings from the times they received it. These tokens from their early life often mean the world to them, and this is an accurate description of how I feel about my “Blankie.” My blanket is a source of comfort, every small imperfection has a memory behind it, and these impressions make the blanket unique to my life and my experiences. While most of the details that reside on my blanket are small and often remain unnoticed, each one makes it more important to me.
It was a cold December night shortly after dusk, a likely setting for an event that would prove to be life altering. As fate would have it, this would be the night that I lost the material possession that truly meant the most to me. I would lose the one thing that gave me much pride and joy and excitement. I often think back and liken us to a newlywed couple, for we had only been together for 18 months and were still very much honeymooning. It was a night, a moment, that even now scoffs and mocks me as I travel thither and yonder with her replacement. But she can never be truly replaced and to call my current fix a replacement seems like a sort of blasphemy.