The Things They Carried Essay

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“The Things they Carried” “The Things they Carried” Steven A. Bauman English Literature David Heikes November 5, 2011 Abstract The things they Carried is a short story pertaining to the Vietnam War, unraveling the emotional and physical ordeals that the soldiers had to go through in their day to day existence. The author successfully brings to fore the burden of intangible things that the soldiers carried in their mind, while superficially alluding to the regular accouterments they had to carry, when on march. The story is imbued with much symbolism and irony. “The Things they Carried” The Things they Carried is a gripping short story by Tim O’Brien that delves on the experiences of a platoon of the American soldiers deployed in the Vietnam War. In addition to deliberating on the emotional and temporal experiences of these soldiers in the war zone, this short story also focuses on the reminiscences of the soldiers, related to their life beyond the war zone. The narrative technique ascribed to by the writer is both matter of fact and dissecting. Hence, while going through the story, they readers often do feel that they could actually visualize the events taking place in the lives of these soldiers, in their minds. As the short story is essentially a war narrative, many a time one comes across scenes elaborating on instances of unsung and senseless loss of human life, while reading the story. However, the short story is not primarily about blood and gore, as readers so typically expect of a war story. The story is also replete with scenes that are disturbingly hilarious, ironically funny, starkly meditative and sometimes surreal and haunting. The art of Tim O’Brien lies in his ability to come out with a memorable group of ordinary soldiers. Each of the characters depicted in

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