Character Analysis of the Things They Carried

1113 Words5 Pages
Norman Bowker, Jimmy Cross, Bobby Jergenson, Rat Kiley, Kiowa, and Ted Lavender were all soldiers in “The Things They Carried” and played important roles in the book. They all carried things physically and mentally. Norman Bowker carries a diary, Jimmy carries letters from Martha, the girl he loves, Rat Kiley carried comic books, while Kiowa carried a tomahawk as well as a bible and Ted Lavender carried tranquilizers. Norman Bowker was a quiet soldier that hated taking on the task of being brave, just like the incident in the field when Kiowa died. He was always pressured by his father to win medals. When he arrived back from the war, he feels that that no one understands what he went through and he is unable to talk to anyone. He also believes there is nowhere for him to go. “there’s no place to go. Not just in this lousy little town. In general. My life, I mean. It’s almost like I got killed over in Nam… Hard to describe. That night when Kiowa got wasted, I sort of sank down into the sewage with him… Feels like I’m still deep shit.”(Page 150) Bowker is also intelligent and is well supported by his parents, but he did not see any meaning in getting a job or even going to school. He does not have the words to explain what he went through or how he feels and he tries to hide it. Norman really wants his story told, so he sent a letter to Tim O’ Brien and ask Tim to write itfor him. He believes that Tim can express how he feels or get the right words out, but the story did not satisfy Norman and he commits suicide 8 months later in the locker room of a YMCA in his hometown. Norman’s role in this book is to help Tim to go from being a storyteller, or writer, to being a soldier. Tim learned that he could cope with experiences through his writing. He was “afraid to speak directly, afraid to remember” (Page 153) during the making of the book. Soldiers were

More about Character Analysis of the Things They Carried

Open Document