The Things They Carried Essay

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There is always more than one side to a story, in the novel by Tim O’Brien it shows that many events can happen but will be interpreted in many different ways. In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is not a war story, but a post-war story, the story of what the outsiders can’t understand but what insiders can’t explain. Tim O’Brien recalls and tells some of his experiences about the Vietnam war, as well as makes reflections about the events. He shows his feelings through stories that are difficult to identify as “true.” This book shows situations of hurt, friendship, and love that soldiers experienced in war and what kind of affect they have after the war. In O’Brien’s book the event that stood out the most was Kiowa’s death. Kiowa’s didn’t just affect O’Brien but even all the soldiers in his platoon. When Kiowa went under the waste all the men were affect and Lieutenant Jimmy Cross took full responsibility. Jimmy Cross took full responsibility because it was his fault that they camped out so close to the waste on such flat ground. When Lieutenant Cross was mentally writing to Kiowa’s father, he knew he wanted to take full responsibility “.....he would apologize point blank. Just admit” (O’Brien 169). Tim O’Brien never got over the death of Kiowa until he went to Vietnam with his daughter who was ten at the time. The moment that became clear that O’Brien had finally made peace with Kiowa's death was when he thought to himself “There was again that sense of recognition” when he was going through the swamp with his daughter by his side watching (O’Brien 186). The death of Kiowa always stuck with Tim O’Brien because he had never made peace with his death. O’Brien realized that when Norman Bowker hung himself six months later after Tim O'Brien's received a 16 page letter explaining his love and anger towards the first book for Kiowa not being present in the

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