Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried Essay

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In the story “The Things They Carried” it talks about the many things soldiers carried around with them. Whether it is emotional, psychological, or spiritual, they all had some sort of weight weighing them down. After everything the soldiers have been through and things they may have seen there is no doubt about the emotional thoughts they have going through their mind. Tim O’Brien talks about the soldiers carrying around the physical aspects. Things that could possibly help out other people that may be hurt or weapons that could help them during certain situations to keep them alive. An example of such would be “Dave Jensen, who practiced field hygiene, carried a toothbrush, dental floss, and several hotel size bars of soap he had stolen”…show more content…
At the end of the war the soldiers have been through a lot of messed up sequence of events so of course they will have a lot of emotional feelings with the war. Some men came back the same way they left, but then some of the men came back and were never the same again. Some men had nightmares of the war or of some event where they had a near death experience. This is how a lot of war veterans become drunks because they are trying to find a way out of the pain and emotional distress they are in. O’Brien shows how Lieutenant Cross has an emotional breakdown. “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” (121). Lieutenant Cross had been day dreaming of Martha when Lavender went to go use the bathroom, instead of keeping a lookout for enemies. As a result of this Lavender was shot in the head and was instantly killed. Cross would have to live the rest of his life knowing he lost one of his men because he was emotionally caught up with Martha. Every soldier carried an emotional weight though “They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing – these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight. They carried shameful memories … It was what had
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