Deconstruction Criticism Essay

852 Words4 Pages
A Deconstruction of “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien’s story was very hard hitting and visual for me. His use of diction and sentence structure played in well with the point he was trying to convey. When first reading the title of this short story you can imagine what you are getting into. The things soldiers carried with them through out their escapades, one would usually think of physically heavy items first. O’Brien listed almost anything you could think of the men carrying. After each object stated, he would tell the reader how much it weighed. Doing this he gave us an idea of how much these men actually carried in weight. It may have been difficult, but for them it was an everyday part of life. These items varied greatly in size and mass from a simple picture weighing a few ounces to 68 pounds of pentrite explosives. The men carried things for different reasons and different situations. Out of necessity, some carried specific personal belongings at all times. Others carried things because of pure superstition. All of these items physically weighed down each soldier. They also carry things out of a sense of security. Not everything is something that they can use. Bringing along certain items gives “the illusion of safety (p421}”. Emotional weight was an underlying theme not as apparent as the physical baggage of the men. These soldiers not only had to deal with the 100-some pounds on their shoulders and back but also countless thoughts weighing on their minds and hearts. These men had visions of their fellow comrades being shot in the head with blood and guts everywhere. It stated that the soldiers would often abandon equipment along the path but mental images are something that cannot be dropped or forgotten. Having such a traumatic experience like that is impossible to erase from your mind. It’s true that “they would never be at a loss for things to
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