Vietnam In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried the reader is introduced to several soldiers who are fighting in Vietnam. Throughout the book O’Brien shows how the soldiers have to deal with various situations which ultimately changes them in many ways. In what ways does the war change these soldiers, and will they ever be the same? Going to Vietnam causes all these soldiers to grow up much faster than their peers who are back home. Many of the men come to war somewhere between the age of 18 and 21, and are forced to deal with things no one else their age would have to. Those who are younger, quickly lose their innocence, faith, and sometimes even their mind. As they go through the war they see so many things such as death, wounds, and others losing…show more content…
Before coming to Vietnam none of these men had ever seen anyone be killed or killed anyone themselves. The first time they lose a comrade of theirs, none of them really know how to react. They are not sure if they should cry and mourn the loss of their friend, or if they just continue on as normal because they know thats what they need to do to stay alive. Some of the soldiers have different ways of dealing with death while they are over there. Some learn to laugh and joke about it in order to lighten up the situation. For instance when Curt Lemon is killed while tossing a grenade in a game, his remains are left all over a tree, which some of the soldiers proceeded to call, “The Lemon Tree”. Though dealing with people dying around them is hard, dealing with the fact that they may have killed someone themselves is even harder. O’Brien talks about how he killed a man with a grenade. It is hard for him to deal with throughout the story because it causes him to think of many different things, not only about what he did, but about the man he killed. No matter what it may be, death was a huge part of the war and one of the hardest things to face and deal with. Whether they spent a day or a year in Vietnam, it changed the soldiers in some way, either physically, mentally or both. Even the men who were very mentally stable found it hard to deal with all the aspects of the war. It was very difficult

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