The Effets of War in Tim O’brian’s “the Things They Carry”

Topics: Death, New Universe, Kill Pages: 3 (1043 words) Published: August 16, 2009
The effects of war in Tim O’Brian’s “The Things They Carry” In his story “The Things They Carry,” Tim O’Brian effectively explains how the war affected the lives of American’s soldiers in Vietnam`. The young and inexperienced soldiers who come to Vietnam with “no dreams of story or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor,” stay in Vietnam without a real mission except to live and to kill (398). They kill soldiers in a battle and innocent civilians in their homes. They mutilated Vietnamese’s bodies and burn their villages. They also force themselves to believe that the gruesome things they do are morally acceptable and that they did not have a chance to handle things differently. They carry their weapons and their supplies and they try not to show their emotions. “They carried the sky. The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decoy, all of it, they carried gravity. They moved like a mules. By daylight they took sniper fire, at night they were mortared, but it was not battle, it was just the endless march, village to village, without purpose, nothing won or lost. They marched for the sake of the march. (395) They see the death everywhere, but they keep going and carrying their burdens and their fears. Depends of their specialty and rang they carry different things that weight between 15 and 20 pounds. They, also carry different equipment for night, complicated of extremely hazardous missions. But, all the heavy rations and supplies weight less than the soldiers memories. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carries Martha’s letters that weight 10 ounces. Marta is a girl who, obviously, loves him as a friend, but he is in love with her. In the middle of the war, he dreams about her and he hopes she is a virgin. He carries her two photographs and the pebble she sent him. He carries the pebble in his mouth. Dave Jansen’s carries a rabbit foot and Norman Bowker a tomb cut from a Vietnamese’s boy corpse as a talisman. The tomb is...
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