The Things They Carried essays

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Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” isn’t just a book about the Vietnam War; it’s a reflection on the heavy burdens we all bear, both tangible and intangible. Whether you’ve served in the military or not, this collection of linked short stories has the power to resonate, shedding light on ...

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Most know that bullies bully because of insecurity– but why? The narrators of The Things They Carried, The Color Of Water, The Woman Warrior, and This Boy's Life use cruelty as a way to create personas that are accepted and stereotypical in society. Domination and inhumanity are used as coping mechanisms to develop a sense of security and identity when one feels powerless. Having control over another people fabricates internal power and respect, allowing oneself to avoid being an outcast....
5 Pages 2260 Words
It is no surprise that the Vietnam War, being the first war to be broadcasted, left a significant impact on all of society, enlisted or not, for generations to come. The Vietnam War, fought from 1964 until 1973 is a hot-button topic due to the murky reasonings behind our involvement, the anti-war movement surfacing in the United States, countless horrific casualties in Vietnam, and the price, both psychologically and economically, to stay engaged in such a volatile war. In The...
3 Pages 1585 Words
Authors all across the world have published countless novels about war and love. Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is one of the many war novels that involves love, but unlike the others, love in The Things They Carried is not the average perfect utopian dream. His short stories, “The Things They Carried” and “The Lives of the Dead”, illustrate how the idea of using imagination as a distraction, specifically the power of love, can help soldiers escape the reality...
3 Pages 1538 Words
In ‘The Things They Carried’, Tim O’Brien underlines the devastating effects of war and the lasting damage of death that a soldier may witness or experience. O’Brien employs a fragmentary and metafictional form of storytelling to highlight the theme of death and morality and explore the different perceptions of the actions of the war. O’Brien informs us that war isn’t always about the glory or the death of the soldiers, but instead, it is about beauty and friendship. A soldier's...
2 Pages 731 Words
“What is more immoral than war?” (Sade). The Vietnam War was a bloody and gruesome war that affected many people in the United States and Vietnam. The war lasted 21 years, from 1954 to 1975. The war started as fear grew that communism would spread from Vietnam to nearby countries. The Vietnam War severely impacted many soldiers and their lives in negative ways. Many of the soldiers came home with severe physical deformities, and many also came home with mental...
3 Pages 1404 Words
“She had crossed to the other side. She was part of the land. She was wearing her culottes, her pink sweater, and a necklace of human tongues” (O’Brien 110). The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a published 1990 novel that deals with the stories and hardships of a group of American soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War. It took O’Brien many years to discuss his experiences in Vietnam. Tim, the main character, teaches many lessons and reflects...
4 Pages 1807 Words
The first reason is because when Mary arrived she was clueless as to what she was gonna find in Vietnam. She was a reminder, for the soldiers, of the comfort back home and the innocence they too had before the war. War can cause anyone to lose themselves and who they were because they are losing their innocence. For example, as Rat Kiley ends his story, of Mary Anne Bell abruptly 'What happened to her, Rat said, was what happened...
1 Page 567 Words
In the novel “The Things They Carried” talks about how war can take a toll on a soldier and his comrades. The author Tim O’Brien addresses his readers in this book about how difficult it is for soldiers to adapt back to reality after the war. This novel talks about the loss of innocence that develops throughout the novel and affects the lives of Tim O’Brien, Mary Anne, and Norman Bowker. First I would to look at Tim O’Brien’s life....
3 Pages 1190 Words
According to research conducted by Charles R. Hooper, former Navy Seal, and graduate of the University of North Carolina, approximately 20 war Veterans commit suicide every day. The main causes of suicide in Veterans include mental illnesses related to PTSD or trauma from wars such as the Vietnam War or World War II. Kurt Vonnegut, a popular 20th-century author of the bestselling novel Slaughterhouse-five, expresses his philosophical thinking by exploring the mind of a World War II veteran named Billy...
5 Pages 2497 Words
“Live. Laugh. Love.” The classic wall decoration that over half of suburban mothers hang up somewhere in their house in hopes that their 16-year-old daughter will stop texting her friends and spend some time with the family. This horribly cliché sign is not just indicative of the poor taste of the masses, it also points to a solution to a problem that is a staple of life for everyone ever, stress. Stress is an inevitability in life, and along with...
5 Pages 2150 Words
“In was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor (O’Brien 20) .” War causes people to enter a new world that to most people seems nothing like the old. The life they had is now gone, which brings these men nothing but a fierce attack of new worries and emotions. “War is hell, but that’s not the half of it, because...
1 Page 497 Words
Realistic, striking, and raw diction in a POV piece imbues feeling and therefore belief in the reader. In the case of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, post-war O’Brien admits to “...making up a few things to get at the real truth” (81). When post-war O’Brien reflects on the young dainty man he saw dead near the village of My Khe, he believes that his piece of writing will be more impactful should he state that he was the...
1 Page 404 Words
Physical things like supplies, tokens of luck, and nick-nacks are not only what people carry, but emotional baggage and mental sorrows that one suffers are also carried. The main plot of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien involves the protagonist Tim himself and his traumatic experiences in the war and how he copes with everything he has faced. The narrator showed many fates of different characters, such as Kiowa and Dave Jensen, who died during the war. After witnessing...
3 Pages 1364 Words
Although O’Brien is unclear about whether or not he actually threw a grenade and killed a man outside My Khe, his memory of the man’s corpse is strong and recurring, symbolizing humanity’s guilt over war’s horrible acts. In “The Man I Killed,” O’Brien distances himself from the memory by speaking in the third person and constructing fantasies as to what the man must have been like before he was killed. O’Brien marvels at the wreckage of his body, thinking repeatedly...
1 Page 526 Words
When in war different variables lead a soldier to remain in a mentality that is unmistakably filled with uneasiness and fear. Whether it be the fear of death or being seen as prey by the opposing side, the final subject on one’s mind is the gear they carry with them. Within the novel “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, the characters deal with the emotional and mental burden of the deaths they cause. Each character carries separate sentiments, such...
3 Pages 1194 Words
In The Things They Carried, Tim O’brien emphasizes that diverging into reality is far more difficult than adapting to war. As the story continues, a variety of themes are taking a large role into defining what it means to tell a true war story. The theme constantly shifts due to the portrayals of numerous characters being depicted. In the duration of the novel’s storytelling, O’brien answers what it means to tell a true war story using the character’s tones, the...
2 Pages 997 Words
Tone is a very important piece when writing any type of work because it determines how the audience should feel when reading it. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a novel based in the Vietnam War. It is a compilation of war stories told by the narrator, who is also the author. The novel has many tones, but two prevalent tones are guilt and sympathy. Guilt and sympathy are shown in many instances throughout the book, the author...
1 Page 657 Words
Due to the unconventional way that Tim O’Brien writes his novel, The Things They Carried, many cannot decide which genre it belongs to. The debate lies in the argument of whether the collection of short stories that are part of the book are of fiction, or true to word memoir. While reading the book, the reader has no way of knowing what is real and what is made up as they are exposed to a way of writing that is...
2 Pages 1020 Words
In America, media outlets have a huge responsibility to inform the people. This is extremely important in society and can influence how people think. Media outlets need to create an accurate portrayal of the world around us people. This only furthers the need to be transparent and actuarate. However, everyone has a bias and a narrative. The media and politicians alike often tell lies to further their narrative. They use emotional stories that could be plausible to create truth through...
2 Pages 774 Words
In the book The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, the author discusses the stories of soldiers who participated in the Vietnam War and experienced a great amount of trauma and guilt brought by their experiences. Tim O’Brien uses imagery to help the reader put themselves in the perspectives of the soldiers through demonstrating how the deaths of so many people have a huge impact on those affected and make the men start to lose their sense of humanity. In...
2 Pages 1116 Words
The definition of courage can be defined in endless ways. In the novel, The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien reveals the horror of the war through a series of stories, but beyond that he also offers his own insight into the nature of courage and fear. As you read the novel, and get deeper into each story you are almost able to imagine and feel the experience as if you were actually there. As a reader you begin to think...
2 Pages 785 Words
The warriors that fought in the Vietnam War were forced to bear numerous extraordinarily shocking encounters. It was these occasions that prompted incredible human feelings, those sentiments that were the things they carried inside. All that they carried impacted them whether it was physical or mental. Everything they carried could in one way or another be the reason for them to physically separate. Agony, misfortune, a feeling of wellbeing, and dread were likely the most testing enthusiastic, and mental affections...
4 Pages 1771 Words
Some people with strong guilt often have to live with that guilt their whole lives live. In the novel “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien shows before a war, after a war, or even during a war that guilt is something that can be carried forever, which can be seen through characters like Tim O’Brien, Mark Fossie, and Jimmy Cross. The first example of Guilt is one of the main characters, Tim O'Brien. Tim O’Brien started to show guilt before...
2 Pages 804 Words
“The Things They Carried” is a collection of linked short stories by American novelist Tim O’Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers fighting on the ground in the Vietnam War. As the stories describe O’Brien’s memories, the female character's roles in the novel depict important messages. Martha shows love and denial; Mary Anne Bell plays the loss of innocence, a sense of coming of age, and lastly Linda, memory, and death. All women play a part in piecing the novel...
3 Pages 1451 Words
Tim O'Brein's The Things They Carried, is an assortment of short stories that retell the experiences of the men of the Vietnam War's Alpha Company. O'Brien's understanding as an infantryman from 1968 to 1970 has given him an insider's viewpoint to the war, and it is this point of view that the creator shares through the character he makes. Many soldiers are afraid to die or to see someone close to them die, because they will show guilt and fear...
3 Pages 1349 Words
Tim O’Brien does an incredible job of blurring the lines of what is true and what is fiction in “The Things They Carried”. The story provides a personal view into the minds of soldiers and tells us the emotional and psychological costs of war. For the 17 Soldiers portrayed in the story, the physical pain was very minimal weight to carry compared to the emotional scars that they will carry throughout their entire life. It was those feelings that were...
2 Pages 751 Words
The setting in all short stories is a very important part, setting is the place or type of surroundings where something is positioned or where an event happens. The setting is important in the stories “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’brien, “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin and “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway. It is important to establish a setting in the story so the readers can visualize and experience what is happening. The settings in the stories...
1 Page 524 Words
Love perception is rather dynamic and could be presented in quite a few ways. Both 'The Things They Carried' with Tim O'Brien's helpful resource, and 'Araby' with James Joyce's helpful resource painting the lives of two compassionate people. 'The Things They Carried' is about a millennial lieutenant named Jimmy Cross during the Vietnam War. Lieutenant Cross is unable to focus on the war because of his persistent thoughts about Martha, the girl he admired. 'Araby' is about a child who...
3 Pages 1202 Words
In “Tim O’Brien’s”, “The Things They Carried” shows how he talks about several soldiers, how each one loss of innocence and effects. The purpose of this story is to create a personal look at the soldiers. O’Brien talks about certain soldiers and when he does, he gives personal information about what these soldiers find important. O’Brien says a lot of the soldiers because they sacrificed their life how they were capable of doing any for their country. Most important he...
1 Page 404 Words
The Things They Carried is a collection of metafiction short stories written in 1990 by Tim O’Brien. It was about a platoon fighting in the Vietnam War, in the book he talks about his experiences as a soldier. In one of his stories “The Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” he talks about how Mary Anne, Mark Fossies girlfriend, transformed into a different person. In this essay, I’m going to be talking about if the transformation was human nature, and...
2 Pages 1028 Words
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