Battling the war of love in his head, asnd battling the Vietnam War as well, is a great means of PTSD in the making. “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, is a short story about a group of men serving in the Vietnam War. These men are all carrying different items aside from the usual necessities needed while in combat. The items they are carrying are personal effects, and gives insight on how their lives could lead if they are back home. Lieutenant Cross’s personal items however, may be the reason members of his platoon are dying.
The Things They Carried The book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is about a Vietnam War veteran who explains the life changing events that the members of Alpha Company as well as himself had experienced and witnessed before, during and after the Vietnam War and how these gruesome memories had impacted the lives of these soldiers. Things they will never forget and can’t seem to let go of. Although this is a fictional book it gives the reader a sense of imagery while reading, making you apart of these war events that go on in these soldiers minds. O’Brien seems to capture these dramatic moments through his writing of stories and structure in which he wrote them in, capturing the ‘truth’ of war. O’Brien begins his book by describing the things the men at war would carry with them which was a ton.
The Things They Carried, a novel written by Tim O’Brien, raises the question of the extent of truthfulness of stories that are told from experience in which the novel is solely based on the accounts of war-veterans and their lives in Vietnam. The soldiers fighting in the war describe certain stories that have affected them the most and from that reader’s can interpret that the armed forces are able to capture the attention of their listeners through providing immense detail of the conditions, adding false information in order to increase suspense, and to evoke emotions with listeners to create parallel feelings with the story at hand. Through O’Brien’s techniques of writing these war accounts he blurs between actual truth and fiction. As a
Paul’s analogy between minting coins and the effect of the war on veteran soldiers is a significant event. He explains in a very true manner how he and his friends establish close bonds that far surpass any civilian or ‘peacetime’ friendship. However, those bonds have been established through living through events no person should, and have been somewhat forced, seeing as they have had to stand together after being drafted into the war and stuck
His narration was defiantly responsible for the characters’ development in the story. He tells the story of his times in the Vietnam War, presumably a war story, however which in turn conveys a life, love, and moral story. From the opening passages the reader is perceived to think as if the life of a solider is one without meaning, with no need for interpretation. In the beginning we learn of the different odd items these soldiers carried such as panty holes, larger rations of food, and etc. Through the surface of the narration from Tim O’Brien, the reader witnesses sort of a confusing and hard to grasp idea.
The constant references to Lavender’s death lets the reader become aware of the importance and appreciation of every soldier. It’s obvious that the Alpha Company consisted of a strong knit group and viewed the death of a member as a very serious occurrence. To me as a reader, I might assume that perhaps that narrator, Tim O’ Brien, was impacted by Ted Lavender’s death even more so than Lieutenant Cross. Ted Lavender’s death is tragic and impacts the Alpha Company, especially Lieutenant Cross and for the narrator to decide to keep mentioning it perhaps he was impacted the most. The dreadful reality of death in war is present within the story, “The Things They Carried”.
Title Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried blends the truth of a Vietnam War memoir and the facts of a writer’s autobiography. He combines imagination with reality, all the while meditating on the war, his memories, and the power to redeem oneself through storytelling. The song “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield and Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried both The “things” of the title that O’Brien’s characters carry are both literal and figurative. While they all carry heavy physical loads, including steel helmets, boots, guns, ammunition, and flak jackets, they also all carry heavy emotional loads, made up of responsibility, anguish, horror, love, and longing. Each man’s physical encumbrance accentuates his emotional encumbrance.
In The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien employs indirect characterization through imagery and refrain to illustrate a collective brutal rite of passage for young American men. The audience is exposed to the protagonist’s, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, experiences in the Vietnam War as he reminisces about a girl named Martha, develops a closer relationship with his comrades, and further understands the horrors of war. At the beginning of the war Jimmy is withdrawn emotionally and inexperienced; by the end of the war he sacrifices his love and fantasy for Martha for the protection and safety of his men. In this story O’Brien uses the description of specific items to give the reader a better understanding of the key characters. Using a repetitive
The characters in “The Things They Carried” and "How to Tell a True War Story" appear to hold on to or carry sources of necessities that fit would that specific assignment (p. 84) or memorial pieces that help boost their motivation emotionally. In the “active line of duty” you (as a Servicemen) would create the mind-frame of do or "men who might die” (p.89) [not knowing if their life would be spared in the process. ] "How to Tell a True War Story" was an insert that the narrator provided the readers with flashback and reflection able memories about information on the life and experiences in the Vietnam War. The Narrator provides us with the caption of Curt Lemon's death (O’Brien p. 362), following a hallucination of hearing, "strange gook music" (p. 364) while in the
The physical and emotional toll of war, of blood, of killing, of fallen soldiers, are too difficult to put into words. Tim O’Brien’s, The Thing They Carried, effectively exemplifies these tolls and the devastating consequences of them. The collection of short stories show that we must appear composed in war, in times of emotional distress, and through these unexpressed emotions, a story emerges. The lines between “happening-truth” and “story-truth” become blurred as the soldier incorporates both the seen and the unseen parts of experience. The emotion a soldier experiences cannot be understood by anyone except those in war.