The Things They Carried Essay

1217 WordsApr 1, 20125 Pages
In the short story The Things They Carried written by author Tim O' Brian, is an authentic story of the haunting experiences gone through the soldiers traveling the tenure of Vietnam. Throughout the story, the narrator begins to tell a tale about a platoon searching and roaming Vietnam; in the torturous valley, each character is described by carrying objects that possibly made the soldiers feel somewhat capable of maintaining some control over themselves. However, these unreal or real objects were "implied burdens far beyond the intransitive." (83), they carried items that represented ghosts. Tim O' Brian's The Things They Carried explores the differences between intangible and tangible items that not only are a influence to bear, but as well represent the emotional and psychological consequences of war. Throughout the narrative, the theme begins to slowly emerge with the appearance of physical and emotional burdens the soldiers experience while they are wandering through Vietnam. Even their physical encumber of their weapons "...included a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried."(84) having the fear build among themselves even though they knew their artillery was the apparatus to keep them alive during the time of conflict. Not only are they carrying heavy physical loads, they are carrying emotional burden such as love, terror, grief and longing "...these were intangibles but the intangibles had their own mass, and specific gravity, they had tangible weight..." (89). The emotional burden of the soldiers transition their characters to develop strategies to deal with the realization of death, and the conditions they were placed in, "...when someone died, it wasn't quite dying, because in a curious way, it seemed scripted, and because they had their lines mostly memorized, irony mixed with tragedy, and because they called it by other names, as

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