In-Class Writing Assignment (the Things They Carried)

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Tim O’Brien’s The Things they carried

In-class writing assignment

War has always been something that seemed pointless to me; it seemed like violence with no other purpose but to harm people. I felt sorry for the people who had to go to war, for the people who died, and for people who could never go back to normal after a war ended, because of the mental or physical impact it had on them. Howard told us his story, his opinion about war, and the book “The Things they carried”. He changed my way of looking at war a lot, partly even my opinion about war.

When he told us his opinion about war, I was mightily surprised, because I had thought that he, for he was a war veteran, would be opposed to war more than anyone else. But he said, he thought war was necessary. He didn’t like the idea of war, but he told us, that America had always been like this: “People want to take things from you, and if you don’t do anything against it, if you do not fight for it, then you lose it, and you will have to fight for it twice as hard to get it back. And then, when you get it back, it is not going to be the same”. War is not nice, but necessary, because in a democratic system, you have to fight to get what is yours or what you want to be yours.

He also changed my way of looking at soldiers who went to war, because I had always thought that no one would want to go to war, that the draft was the reason that so many soldiers had to die, fighting for their country. Howard is not one of those people. He wanted to go to war, he did not hesitate, because for him, going to war was better than staying in Chicago, where the riots where going on. The book, he said, was very romanticized, and didn’t describe the war realistically enough. He did not agree with the way, many things were described. As described in the book, the soldiers killed, because they were embarrassed not to (p. 20). Howard said, that they didn’t kill because they were afraid of “blushing”, but because they had...
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