The Things They Carried Theme Essay

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The Things They Carried By Tim O’Brien One of the prevailing themes in this short story is the intangible things a soldier carries. The soldiers did not only carried immense physical necessities, but also intangible emotional loads. Apart from carrying the usual battlefield machinery, they carried or, in their context, “To carry something was to “hump” it … In its intransitive form, “to hump” meant “to walk”, or “to march”, but it implied burdens far beyond the intransitive.” emotional baggage. Fear, pride, memory, love, superstitious and sadness all kept within. Carrying their cutting edge war equipment, they were aware of other’s intimidation. Pride mixed terror swelled inside, clearly littered in “…silent awe for the terrible power…show more content…
“Vaguely, he was aware of how quiet the day was, the sullen paddies, yet he could not bring himself to worry about matters of security. He was beyond that. He was just a kid at war, in love. He was twenty-two years old. He couldn’t help it.” Albeit the perils ahead, he could not force himself to concentrate on his responsibility as a leader of the troop. He was in a dilemma between work and personal needs. “His mind wandered. He had difficulty keeping his attention on the war. On occasion he would yell at his men to spread out the column, to keep their eyes open, but then he would slip away into daydreams.” Because of his negligence, Ted Lavender was dead. Because of his distraction, he lost a man. He did care for Lavender and wept for his lost. “He felt shame. He hated himself. He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war.” Eventually, he came to a revelation, burned her letter purely out of love and care for those under his wings. “He was now determined to perform his duties firmly and without negligence. It wouldn’t help Lavender, he knew that, but from this point on he would comport himself as a
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